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Communism, democra- 
cy, and Oathollc 
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Public Library 

Kansas City, Mo. 



Paul Blanshard 


Copyright 1951 


^ I 



with Norman Thomas 




Printed in U.S.A. 

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility 
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. 



Preface ........ ix 
















Appendix 302 

I. The Mussolini- Vatican Agreements of 1929 (Excerpts) 
II. The Roosevelt-Spellraan Correspondence 

Bibliography 313 

Notes 316 

Index 333 


MY ORIGINAL INSPIRATION for this book came from reading the lectures 
delivered at Butler University by the well-known scholar, Professor 
George La Piana of Harvard, and published in the Shane Quarterly (1949) 
under the title, "A Totalitarian Church in a Democratic State: the Ameri- 
can Experiment." Professor La Piana spoke in those lectures of the 
"impressive parallelism of theoretical principles and of institutional fea- 
tures in a totalitarian church and in a totalitarian state." He pointed out 
that "the totalitarianism of the Catholic Church differs from that of the 
state, because it has a spiritual content and a spiritual purpose which are 
completely lacking in the latter," but that nevertheless there is a real 
structural parallel between this Church as an organized system of power 
and the totalitarian states bent on expansion and domination. 

I have applied that suggestive remark of Professor La Piana to one 
segment of the problem, the three-way struggle between the Vatican, the 
Kremlin, and democracy; but its elaboration and interpretation are wholly 
my own. 

Two noted experts on Russian affairs have reviewed the portions of 
this book which deal with Communism Warren B. Walsh, Chairman of 
the Board of Russian Studies at Syracuse University, and Frederick C. 
Barghoorn, Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University. 
I am grateful for their -constructive suggestions, but I am entirely respon- 
sible for any opinions expressed or for any errors in the text. Kenneth 
Dailey, of Syracuse University, has also helped me materially with re- 
search among Russian documents. 

Over a period of several years, the editor of the Beacon Press has 
contributed to my files a mass of revealing material from Communist and 
Catholic periodicals published in this country and abroad, together with 
many helpful quotations from democratic periodicals. Edward Darling 
of the Beacon Press has been immensely helpful to me in many ways, 
especially in the period when I was overseas. The officials of the Baker 
Library at Dartmouth have been unfailingly generous with their literary 

Although I have relied heavily on documentary material in this study, 
no survey of such a subject would be complete without on-the-spot obser- 
vation. My previous studies had included five periods of observation in 
Europe and two in the Orient, with a short period of residence in Moscow; 



but it was the weekly magazine The Nation which made it possible to 
gather together all these past threads of observation and experience into a 
book, by sending me to Europe in 1950 as its special correspondent in 
Rome for the Holy Year. Some of the incidental facts in this book ap- 
peared in The Nation late in 1950 and early in 1951, but very few para- 
graphs have been used bodily. I am grateful to The Nation for the oppor- 
tunity of renewing and strengthening my knowledge of the operations of 
both the Kremlin and the Vatican in Europe. 

Not the least of my acknowledgments should go to my wife, Mary 
Hillyer Blanshard, for constant assistance and encouragement. 

In the appropriate places in the Notes I have expressed appreciation to 
the publishers who have granted permission to quote briefly from their 
works. All students working in the field of Soviet policy owe a special 
debt to the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies for the translations from 
the Russian press contained in the Current Digest of the Soviet Press. 
Most quotations from the Russian press used in this volume have been 
taken from these translations, and I wish to express my thanks for permis- 
sion to use them. 

Unfortunately it would not be wise to mention all of my friends in Italy 
who have helped to gather facts pertinent to this study, but I can mention 
Professor Giovanni Pioli, of Milan, formerly an official in the Roman 
Curia, and now a tireless advocate of human freedom; and Ernestine and 
Anthony Caliandro, of Naples, who helped to show me the seamier side 
of Vatican policy among the people of southern Italy. 




Pattern and Panorama 

avoided by American writers today than the fundamental re- 
semblance between the Vatican and the Kremlin. The meaning 
of that resemblance has never, so far as I know, been systemati- 
cally examined or interpreted. Those writers who have ap- 
proached the subject in passing have skirted its edges warily and 
avoided the disturbing central facts. 

This book, I hope, will serve as an introduction to a neglected 
theme, an exploration into undiscovered country. Its aim is 
ambitious, but its pattern is very simple. I undertake to examine 
in detail two powerful institutions of our time, the Vatican and 
the Kremlin, selecting for comparison and contrast those features 
which seem to have significance for democracy. Then I ask: 
Given these facts of resemblance and disparity, what should be 
the policy of western democracy in dealing with such institu- 
tions? My purpose is to bring the present three-way struggle of 
Communism, political Catholicism, and democracy into clearer 
focus in the hope that the analysis will contribute to a consistent 
American policy for dealing with both the Vatican and the 

The importance of the subject scarcely needs emphasis. Our 
whole western civilization is being threatened by Kremlin power, 
and we are already marshaling all our forces against the day of 
catastrophe. At this critical moment an alleged ally, the Vatican, 
has come forward offering substantial assistance in the war 
against Communist aggression. The Vatican is certainly one of 
the most important organizations of our time, and its opposition 
to Kremlin aggression is undoubtedly sincere. Are we justified 


in accepting its proffer of partnership? Should we welcome 
Catholic moral leadership in the desperate fight against Commu- 
nist advance? 

In a sense this whole book is an attempt to marshal the facts 
necessary for an answer to those questions. I believe that a knowl- 
edge of the comparative backgrounds and continuing tactics of 
both the Kremlin and the Vatican is essential to any sound 
judgment concerning our role in the three-way struggle. Certainly 
we cannot prudently make an alliance with the Vatican or with 
any other world power unless we know where our prospective 
ally stands on the fundamental issues of democracy. Otherwise 
we may find that our alleged ally is really an enemy. 

In the past we Americans have been rather careless and senti- 
mental in making our international alliances. We have tended to 
accept as a friend anybody who happened to be^tt*the moment 
an enemy of our enemies. When the United States Senate voted 
a loan to Franco's Spain in 1950 over the opposition of President 
Truman, the Washington Post described the theory that "the 
enemy of your enemy is your friend" as a "theory entertained only 
by primitive minds . . . utterly at variance with logic or com- 
mon sense." Our experience in recent wars gives point to that 

In the First World War, we plunged in with solemn pledges 
against annexations and punitive indemnities without ever stop- 
ping to examine the annexationist treaties which had been written 
by our allies before we entered the conflict. In the Second World 
War, we accepted Joseph Stalin as an ally in good faith partly 
because he had been welcomed by other allies before we entered 
the war, and then we proceeded to co-operate with him without 
requiring reciprocal co-operation from him and without provid- 
ing proper safeguards against his anti-democratic post-war de- 

Will we make the same kind of undiscriminating commitments 
in the next stage of the war against Communism? There are signs 
that we are in danger of doing precisely that. We seem to have 
forgotten the possibility that a victory even for the right prin- 
ciples may be transformed into a defeat if the triumph is scored 
in co-operation with anti-democratic forces. We have already 
encouraged the formation in Europe of a political bloc which 


includes many reactionary elements ranging from the fascist 
regime of Franco to the rightist parties of Italy. At the heart of 
that rightist political bloc stands a complex organization, the 
Roman Catholic church-state, a unique blend of personal faith, 
human compassion, clerical exploitation, and submissive igno- 
rance. It is a vast empire of churches, schools, hospitals, orphan- 
ages, monasteries, political parties, clerical-dominated govern- 
ments, labor unions, embassies, newspapers a world system of 
culture, discipline, and loyalty which in many respects outweighs 
in influence any single nation in the world. Its dual relation to 
Communism on the one hand and to western democracy on the 
other is worthy of much more scrutiny than it has yet received. 

How far should we go in making concessions to such a church- 
state in order to hold its allegiance to an anti-Communist frontTJf 
we defeat Communism in alliance with such a power, what kind 
of world will our victory secure? Will it be a world capable of 
continued resistance to totalitarian power? Will the Vatican 
gain increased prestige from co-operation with us in the emer- 
gency, and then use that prestige to weaken our democratic 

It is because I accept the most pessimistic answers to these four 
questions that I have written this book even during a war period. 
In fact, I believe that wartime, when men tend to become too 
sentimental about the qualities of their allies, is precisely the 
time when a book like this should be written. It should help to 
serve as an antidote to the traditional wartime illusion that men 
who hate our enemies are ipsgjacto friends of democracy and 
simultaneously it should help to reveal the moral peril behind 
the military might of our enemy. 

A Total War of Ideas 

Our primary shortcoming, it seems to me, is that we tend to 
oversimplify the complex war of ideas which is now shaking the 
world and try to reduce it to a single conflict, the black-and-white 
struggle between Communist villainy and American democracy. 
Such an oversimplification makes us blind to the fact that there 
are other facets of the struggle and that democracy is faced with 
other enemies besides Communism. It makes us blind also to 
the fact that millions of little Communists think they are fighting 


for democracy when they are fighting for the Kremlin, and that 
some of our own allies have little respect for democracy. |Twe 
cannot disentangle these facts from the present confused situa- 
tion, and interpret them accurately, we may find ourselves losing 
a war because we have won it without having a proper under- 
standing of all the forces in the struggle. What ^ shall it profit a 
nation to win a war for democracy when its sacrifices are turned 
into a victory for reaction? 

I am concerned in this book with disentangling only one fea- 
ture of this complex situation, the inter-relationships between 
Communism, democracy, and Catholic power. In the process of 
the analysis, I use American democracy as a yardstick for measur- 
ing the * merits and defects of both Communism and political 
Catholicism; but this does not mean that I assume perfection in 
our democracy, or pre-eminence in our economic system, or 
superiority in our predominantly non-Catholic way of life. Good 
Americans and good democrats may believe In collective enter- 
prise or in the Catholic way of life or in any other pattern of 
economic or moral behavior and still be good Americans and 
good democrats, so long as they accept the fundamental thesis 
on which our whole way of life is based namely, that the 
majority of the people have the right to determine our future 
by free choice based on free discussion, with certain inalienable 
rights guaranteed to minorities. Such freedom of choice based 
on free discussion is the only sacred thing in the unique mixture 
of nobility and egotism which we call Americanism, and it is 
the only thing which we have a right to use as a yardstick in 
measuring the Vatican and the Kremlin. 

Readers of 'my previous writings will not need to be reminded 
that when I speak of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vati- 
can, 1 am not generally speaking of the Catholic people or of the 
Catholic mystical faith. Catholicism as a theory of the relation- 
ship between man and God is beyond the scope of this discussion, 
and I make no attempt to consider it or to discuss the truth or 
falsehood of contemporary Christianity as religion. In general, 
it is political Catholicism as a world power which concerns me 
in this book. The Catholic people are not responsible for the 
great structure of political, diplomatic, medical, and cultural 
authority which has been built upon their sincere personal faith. 
They do not make its policies or direct its programs. American 


Catholics, particularly, know little about its world-wide signifi- 
cance, and it is an accident of history that they have been bom 
into association with it. 

If we are fair-minded enough to exempt the Catholic people 
from blame for the totalitarian policies of the Vatican dictatorship 
and to respect the Catholic faith as genuine and sincere, we should 
also be fair-minded enough to acknowledge that there is a dis- 
tinction between the Communist hierarchy and the Communist 
masses, and that not all Communists are equally responsible for 
the aggressive policies of the Kremlin. It is, of course, very difficult 
to display cool impartiality when we are looking down the muzzle 
of a gun. The tendency in discussing Communism in the United 
States today is to see who can shout the loudest in the negative 
without stopping to acknowledge that Communism, like Catholi- 
cism, is also an amalgam of good and evil which has become for 
millions of men a fanatical religion. History shows that men 
cannot kill a religion with a sword, and that nothing can destroy 
a false religion except superior ideas. If, as Arnold Toynbee 
says, Communism is "a Christian heresy" which rejects western 
man's code of values and "preaches an alternative way of spiritual 
life," then nothing will defeat it except a competing philosophy 
which embraces whatever positive values Communism offers to 
man, and which offers in addition those values that have been 
overlooked or denied by Communism. 

I happen to believe that democracy as a system of free choices 
and a gospel of free minds is the only competing philosophy 
which has any chance of defeating Communism; but I believe 
that the defeat can be accomplished only if men recognize that 
they are engaged in a war of ideas which is even more funda- 
mental than the war of bombs, and that the war of ideas embraces 
the whole field of democratic versus totalitarian thought. The 
struggle of democracy against the Kremlin is one phase of the 
war of ideas, and the struggle of democracy against the Vatican 
is another. The underlying issue in both phases of the struggle is 
the same the rule of the world by free minds. 

To meet the threat of the right as well as the threat of the left, 
we apparently need what a number of liberal leaders have called 
"Operation Mental Hygiene." The phrase was used in a mani- 
festo, "We Put Freedom First," issued by the executive committee 
of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which met in Berlin in 


June 1950 to draw up a liberal program for the defeat of Com- 
munism. The manifesto said: 

Communism in its present form has become a phantom ideology. It 
has as little to do with Socialism as the Medieval Inquisition and the 
reign of the Borgias with the teachings of Christ. Our civilization can be 
saved if only the hypnotic power of this phantom is broken. This is not a 
task which any political party or group can achieve alone. It is an Opera- 
tion Mental Hygiene which can be accomplished only by a joint effort of 
the educated classes of the men hi public life, in the arts and letters, in 
the universities and elementary schools, in the trade unions and profes- 
sional organizations who determine the intellectual climate of the 
nation. 1 

The great question before western man, it seems to me, is 
whether Operation Mental Hygiene will go far enough. In fight- 
ing the Kremlin, democracy is being tempted to dilute its own 
gospel of freedom with a Vatican gospel of authoritarian reaction. 
The Vatican offers ready-made a competing set of loyalties which 
have been hallowed by twenty centuries of tradition, and a com- 
peting reservoir of anti-Communist strength in its 350,000,000 
adherents. But an honest analysis of facts indicates that Jhe Vati- 
can is on the democratic side only for the duration of the emer- 
gency because the Kremlin is on the other side. Bertrand Russell 
put the truth with bluntness and candor in a lecture at Columbia 
University in November 1950, just after he had been awarded 
the Nobel Prize, He declared that it is a "dangerous error to think 
that the evils of communism can be combated by Catholicism/' 
and he described the shortcomings of Communism in the termi- 
nology of Catholicism as follows: 

Adherence to a rigid and static system of doctrine, of which part is 
doubtful and part demonstrably false; persecution as a means of enforcing 
orthodoxy; a belief that salvation is only to be found within the church 
and that the True Faith must be spread throughout the world, by force, 
if necessary; that the priesthood, which alone has the right to interpret 
the Scriptures, has enormous power, physical east of the Iron Curtain 
and spiritual over the faithful in partibus; that this power is used to secure 
an undue share of wealth for the priesthood at the expense of the rest of 
the population; and that bigotry, and the hostility that it engenders, is a 
potent source of war. 

"Every one of these evils," said Mr. Russell, "was exhibited 
by the Catholic Church when it had power, and would probably 
be exhibited again if it recovered the position it had in the Middle 
Ages. It is therefore irrational to suppose that much would be 


gained if, in the defeat of communism, Catholicism were en- 
throned in its place." 2 

The Struggle of Titans 

Having said these introductory words about the purpose and 
pattern of this book, I am ready to plunge into a discussion of 
what I have called the three-way struggle. The participants in 
the struggle are the Vatican, the Kremlin, and western democ- 
racy. The struggle is taking place on three fronts, Vatican versus 
Kremlin, Kremlin versus democracy, and Vatican versus democ- 

I propose to spend few words in describing the direct battle 
between the Kremlin and American democracy because moun- 
tains of books and oceans of ink have been devoted in the last 
few years to this theme. Virtually every literate person in the 
United States knows the central facts of America versus the 
Soviet Union. Accordingly I shall use those facts only as back- 
ground material for discussing the character of Soviet power and 
the relationships of the participants in the three-way battle. How 
did the Kremlin and the Vatican get that way? How did it hap- 
pen that they became bitter antagonists? To answer these ques- 
tions, it will be well to take a brief flash-back to the beginnings 
of Bolshevism. 

The Vatican and the Kremlin have been mortal enemies since 
1917, when Lenin and Trotsky launched the world's first socialist 
soviet republic. The new government was always hostile to eccle- 
siastical power, and the Vatican was only one villain in its re- 
ligious rogues' gallery. Its policy was flatly and unashamedly 
anti-religious, and it drew its anti-religious inspiration from Karl 
Marx himself, who had described religion as an opiate and as a 
counter-revolutionary force. The Sixth Congress of the Comin- 
tern, meeting in Moscow in 1928, expressed the Marxian doctrine 
quite candidly when it said: "One of the most important tasks 
of the cultural revolution, affecting the wide masses, is the task 
of systematically and unswervingly combating religion the 
opium of the people. The proletarian government must withdraw 
all State support from the Church, which is the agency of the for- 
mer ruling class." 3 

That Marxian phrase, "the opium of the people," occurs over 


and over again in the literature of Communism. The Bolsheviks 
made sure that the people of Moscow would remember it by in- 
scribing it on a brick wall in one of Moscow's chief squares. 
Lenin never favored the destruction of religion by law he was 
too shrewd to make martyrs of the priests but he called on all 
his followers to ridicule and denounce it. "We demand," he said, 
"the complete separation of the church from the state in order to 
combat religious darkness with a purely ideological, and exclu- 
sively ideological, weapon, our printed and oral propaganda." 
Probably his most striking comment on the subject was one that 
he made in 1905 when he called religion "a kind of spiritual gin": 
Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression that everywhere 
weighs on the masses of the people, who are crushed by perpetual toil. 
... To Mm who toils and suffers want all his life religion teaches hu- 
mility and patience on earth, consoling him with the hope of reward in 
heaven. And to those who live on the labor of others religion teaches 
charity on earth, offering them a very cheap justification for their whole 
existence as exploiters and selling them at a suitable price tickets for 
admission to heavenly bliss. Religion is the opium of the people. Religion 
is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human 
shape and their claims to any decent human life. 4 

Stalin has been almost as frank on the subject of religion as 
Lenin was. In talking to an American trade union delegation in 
1927 about his government's attitude toward religion, he said 
that "all religion is something opposite to science," and that 
Communist Party members who "hamper the complete develop- 
ment of anti-religious propaganda" ought to be expelled. Then 
he asked rhetorically: "Have we suppressed the reactionary 
clergy? Yes, we have. The unfortunate thing is that it has not 
been completely liquidated." 5 

In a large part of Russia there were no Roman Catholic priests 
to be liquidated, since the Roman Church was very weak in 
Russia proper. It had at least 4,000,000 members, aside from its 
great strength in Russian Poland, and most of the 4,000,000 were 
concentrated in Lithuania and the Ukraine. Its Ukraine division, 
a Uniate branch of the Eastern rite, was taken over bodily after 
World War II "on its own initiative" so the Kremlin said 
into the Communist-controlled Russian Orthodox Church. Today 
Roman Catholic activity in the Soviet Union has almost disap- 
peared. 8 * 


Lenin and Trotsky naturally devoted their first great anti- 
clerical campaign to the church of the Tsars. The Russian Church 
was disestablished and forbidden to maintain its own schools; 
priests were denied voting rights as citizens; Communist Party 
members were directed not to support organized religion; Com- 
munists who were caught going to church even for marriages and 
baptisms were ruthlessly purged. The Union of Militant Godless, 
with official backing, poured out vitriolic anti-Christian and anti- 
clerical propaganda, and, on the whole, the propaganda was 
strikingly effective in turning away the younger generation from 
the church. 6 

All this anti-religious effort was carried on under a constitu- 
tion which guaranteed religious freedom. It is true that some 
Russians were left free under that constitution to practice some 
features of their religion. Public worship was permitted, and the 
churches which were allowed to function at all were frequently 
filled to capacity with worshipers. The first Soviet constitution 
decreed complete separation of church and state and declared 
that "freedom of religious and anti-religious propaganda is recog- 
nized for all citizens." But in practice there was only as much 
religious freedom as the Communist leaders permitted. The non- 
devotional activity of the Church was strictly limited, and even the 
devotional features were frequently suppressed when a political 
excuse could be found for the suppression. 

Intermittent streams of anti-Church propaganda poured from 
the Union of Militant Godless in Moscow, and the streams were 
turned off or on according to the directions of the Politburo. 
The emphasis and tempo of the anti-religious drive changed from 
year to year, but throughout the whole span of Russian revolu- 
tionary rule, there is no evidence that the fundamental outlook 
of the Communist leaders has changed. In 1950 the work pre- 
viously carried on by the Union of Militant Godless was taken 
over by the Soviet Society for Political and Scientific Re- 
search, which launched a campaign against the "medieval Chris- 
tian outlook." "The struggle against the gospel and Christian 
legend," said the chairman of the new drive, "must be conducted 
ruthlessly and with all the means at the disposal of Commu- 
nists." 7 ' 

The Soviet government has not seen anything inconsistent with 


its constitutional pledge to separate church and state ^and its 
constant intervention into religious affairs to stifle, ^ direct or 
manipulate church activity. It proclaimed in the "Stalin Consti- 
tution" of 1936: "Freedom of practice of religious cults and 
freedom of anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citi- 
zens." "Freedom of practice" is a very vague phrase, and it has 
never been interpreted liberally enough to guarantee to Russian 
churches the commodity which is described as religious freedom 
in the United States. The government has never pretended to be 
impartial as between religious sects. In 1923 it promoted a schis- 
matic branch in Russian Orthodoxy called the "Living Church," 
and in 1943 it rehabilitated the Russian Orthodox Church and 
made it virtually an arm of the Soviet regime, restoring the synod 
of the church to some of its former glory. Organized religion, in 
Communist eyes, is a corrupting social force which should be 
used or ignored according to the current needs of the Communist 
movement; and if it cannot be destroyed by a frontal attack, it 
should be captured by boring from within. 

The most devout believer cannot deny that the Russian Ortho- 
dox Church contained social evils which have been condemned 
by many Christian churchmen in the western world. The Russian 
Church had a long and reactionary record. After the Spiritual 
Regulation of 1721, when the Russian Orthodox Church had 
become the official national church, the priests were completely 
subordinated to a corrupt ruling class. How far they shared the 
corruption of their masters is a matter of opinion, but there is no 
doubt that they helped to bolster the old regime. They took active 
part in reactionary political movements and used personal pres- 
sure to keep the peasants from revolt. In their miserable parish 
schools they fed their pupils a medieval diet of obscurantism and 
orthodoxy. They brought a similar anti-scientific attitude into the 
Russian public schools where they were entrusted with the teach- 
ing of religion and morals. 

Here is a passage on loyalty to the Tsar, taken from a catechism 
which the Orthodox priests used in Russian public schools in the 
1890's. It is interesting to notice that it is an almost exact coun- 
terpart of the catechism used later by the Roman Catholic 
Church in support of Franco in Spain: 
Question. How should we show our respect for the Tsar? 


Answer. We should feel complete loyalty to the Tsar and be prepared to 
lay down our lives for him. We should without objection fulfill his com- 
mands and be obedient to the authorities appointed by him. We should 
pray for his health and salvation, and also for that of all the Ruling House. 
Question. With what spiritual feelings should we fulfill these commands? 
Answer. According tt> the words of the Apostle Paul, "Not only for wrath, 
but also for conscience' sake" (Rom. 13:5), with sincere esteem and love 
toward the father of our land. 

Question. What should we think of those who violate their duty toward 
their Sovereign? 

Answer. They are guilty not only before the Sovereign, but also before 
God. 8 

It is not surprising that Lenin, long before the revolution, 
called the leaders of the Russian Church "advocates of serfdom 
in surplices." Professor Michael Florinsky has declared that "a 
majority of the Russian clergy were obedient tools in the hands 
of their ecclesiastical superiors, who themselves were tools of 
the government." 9 The Third Duma had forty-five clergymen, 
none of whom belonged to the radical or liberal parties, while the 
Fourth had forty-eight, of whom forty belonged to the most reac- 
tionary parties. This conservative alignment was not surprising, 
because the Orthodox Synod had instructed the clergy to preach 
sermons supporting the government, and to attend election meet- 
ings for a similar purpose. 10 

Professor Pitirim Sorokin who was a member of the old 
Russian Orthodox Church and who escaped from the Bolsheviks 
with a price on his head has pointed out that the Russian 
Church before the revolution was "well-nigh completely identified 
with the Russian nation. In its absence the structure of Russian 
society and culture would have been as inchoate and incompre- 
hensible as that of medieval Europe without Roman Catholi- 
cism." 11 Professor Sorokin's analogy is especially useful in under- 
standing the competitive position of the Roman Catholic and 
the Greek Orthodox churches in Europe. The two churches were 
not parallels, but they were natural and historical rivals. They 
had been identified with competing states and competing civiliza- 

The Struggle Between Wars 

From the end of World War I to 1937, the Vatican and the 
Kremlin engaged in a series of tentative maneuvers which never 
reached a formal decision partly because the Vatican always 


hoped for the defeat of the Bolsheviks and the restoration of 
Russian rule to an upper class with which it might bargain suc- 
cessfully. It was willing to bargain with Bolshevism, but there 
was no reciprocal desire for bargaining in Moscow. The Bolshe- 
viks appeared to be quite willing to regard Roman Catholicism 
in their country as a purely historical phenomenon. Since they 
have never exchanged representatives with the Vatican, they have 
had few contacts with official Catholicism on the diplomatic level. 

During the years immediately following the Russian revolution 
the Vatican apparently believed that a deal was possible through 
which the Soviet Union would permit Catholic activity on its soil 
in return for neutrality in matters of international policy. Both 
Benedict XV and Pius XI seemed to have some hope that Roman 
Catholicism might fill the spiritual vacuum created by the wide- 
spread destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church. A group 
of propaganda and missionary bodies was set up, designed to 
enter Russia and reap the ecclesiastical harvest if and when the 
Bolsheviks opened their doors or collapsed from their own 

At the Genoa Conference in 1922, when the Bolsheviks made 
their bow to foreign diplomacy, the Vatican, hoping to work 
out a compromise with Lenin, tried unofficially to persuade 
European representatives to induce Russia to grant complete free- 
dom for religious propaganda, Louis Fischer, in his work The 
Soviets in World Affairs, tells how Chicherin, Soviet Commissar 
for Foreign Affairs, met the King of Italy and the Archbishop of 
Genoa on an Italian cruiser and drank a toast to the co-operation 
of the Kremlin and the Vatican in Russia under a policy of the 
separation of church and state. 12 When nothing came of the toast 
or the Vatican's dreams of compromise, the relations between the 
two organizations became steadily worse. 

By 1937, blunt-spoken Pius XI in his encyclical Atheistic 
Communism penned one of the most bitter denunciations of 
Communism ever issued, and boasted that the Papacy "has called 
public attention to the perils of Communism more frequently than 
any other public authority on earth." Pius XI went on to say that 
"Communism, moreover, strips man of his liberty, robs human 
personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints 
that check the eruptions of blind impulse. There is no recogni- 


tion of any right of the individual in his relations to the collec- 
tivity; no natural right is accorded to human personality, which 
is a mere cogwheel in the Communist system." 13 

It is interesting to note that Pius XI considered this subordina- 
tion of man under Communism to be wrong primarily because it 
was subordination to the wrong agency, an exclusive subordina- 
tion to the "community." On this point he said: "In man's 
relations with other individuals, besides, Communists hold the 
principle of absolute equality, rejecting aU hierarchy and divinely 
constituted authority, including the authority of parents. What 
men call authority and subordination is derived from the com- 
munity as its first and only font." Pius XI, who had signed the 
Vatican Concordat with Mussolini in 1929, and who wrote this 
attack on Communism shortly after Mussolini's conquest of Ethi- 
opia, revealed no comparable indignation over the subordination 
of his country to the fascist "community." 

If Pius XI had known what World War II was to bring forth, 
he might have been even more bitter against Communism than 
he was. World War II, and the realignment of power which came 
afterwards, gave the Soviet Union its opportunity to strike at 
Catholic strength in middle and eastern Europe. As the Soviet 
forces swept westward, Catholic power for the first time con- 
fronted a total enemy using all the resources of modern communi- 
cation to destroy it. The friendly governments in these regions, 
which had treated the Papacy with some deference, rapidly disap- 
peared. The first casualties were Poland and the Baltic States. 
Eventually came Rumania, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslo- 
vakia, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. In the end the Kremlin came 
into authority over at least 45,000,000 members of the Roman 
Catholic Church who had not been subject to its rule before 1939. 
The Baltic States and parts of Poland succumbed to Russian 
control before the Soviet Union entered the war, as a result of 
the Hitler-Stalin deal of 1939. The rest of conquered middle 
Europe was acquired by the Kremlin at the end of the war, or 
shortly afterwards, either by force of arms or by Communist 
political penetration. 

The Vatican Meets Defeat 
What happened to the Catholic Church in these countries as 


the Soviet steam roller lumbered westward? It will be many years 
before the full story can be told, but its main features are already 
known to the world. 14 It will be enough here to note that every- 
where throughout the conquered sections of middle and eastern 
Europe the Vatican and the Kremlin joined in mortal combat, 
and the Vatican in every case met complete or partial defeat. 
The tactics of battle varied from country to country, but the spirit 
of the antagonists did not. The struggle was described by the 
Vatican as a battle of religion against atheism, but it was from the 
beginning much more than that; it was an all-out struggle for 
survival between two cultures and two systems of power. The 
Communists, through controlled regimes that were established 
by arbitrary and undemocratic methods, legislated against tradi- 
tional Catholic practices in parochial education and ecclesiastical 
marriage. The priests struck back with appeals to the wrath of 
God. The left-wing governments deprived some churches of their 
property and stripped many leaders of their special privileges. 
Great landed estates were taken away from religious orders, and 
many monasteries closed. The Catholic press was curtailed, cen- 
sored, or suppressed. Catholic Action groups were disbanded as 
a threat to public order, and many Catholic charitable institu- 
tions were confiscated or closed. Thousands of Catholic priests 
who rebelled were punished for treason or disloyalty. Archbishop 
Stepinac went to prison in Yugoslavia and Cardinal Mindszenty 
in Hungary. Many lesser priests suffered a worse fate. 

We shall see later that the Communist case against some of 
these clerics was not wholly lacking in merit, because freedom 
of education and economic justice were involved in the dispute 
together with religion; but the Communist method of prosecuting 
its enemies had no merit. It revealed a fundamental contempt 
for democratic processes. The fact that the Catholic Church in 
many disputed zones had become an ally of monarchy, feudalism 
and economic reaction could not excuse the Communists for 
their denial of due process of law to their priest- victims. 

In most cases the Kremlin was clever enough in extending its 
territory not to make a frontal and official attack on religious 
liberty as such. It concentrated its attack on the Church as a 
great landowner or as an enemy of public education or as a pro- 
moter of specious "miracles." Actually, most of the churches in 


conquered eastern Europe were left free to continue their services 
of worship, and many of the priests collected the same salaries 
from left-wing governments that they had previously collected 
from conservative governments. In several countries the strategy 
of the Soviet attack was so adroitly planned that compromise 
agreements were reached with Catholic bishops. Poland was the 
best example of this partial compromise, and the Hungarian 
hierarchy was also maneuvered into a compromise. The Polish 
Catholic bishops finally signed an agreement with their left-wing 
government in April 1950 without the previous approval of the 
Vatican, and Hungarian bishops followed suit in a similar manner 
in August 1950. 15 These incipient movements toward national 
Catholic independence have caused consternation at the Vatican. 
There is nothing the Pope fears more than a kind of Catholic 
Titoism that would attempt to preserve the moral and spiritual 
values of Catholicism while repudiating Roman dictatorship. 

In several countries the Communists have already succeeded 
in splitting the local Catholic hierarchy by organizing a dissident, 
national Catholic bloc which has defied the Vatican's right to 
control its policies. In Rumania, which had a 1927 concordat 
with the Vatican, the left-wing government terminated the con- 
cordat and brought an entire section of the Roman Catholic 
Church into the Rumanian Orthodox Church, controlled pri- 
marily by Moscow, taking at least 1 ,500,000 members away from 
Rome. A significant break toward a local-controlled Catholic 
church in Czechoslovakia came in early 1951 when a pro- 
government bishop began to ordain pro-government Catholic 
priests without Vatican approval; several other bishops joined 
with the first dissenter. 

Everywhere the spirit of the struggle between the Kremlin and 
the Vatican has been uncompromising on both sides. Each an- 
tagonist in its propaganda campaign has represented the other 
as the epitome of all evil. Neither antagonist has compromised 
unless compelled to do so. The Church's submission to left-wing 
governments in countries like Poland and Hungary has been, in 
the last analysis, a forced submission, and if the Kremlin has 
treated the Church respectfully in any country, the treatment has 
been due not to friendship but to sagacity. The Kremlin has in 
most cases used the pretext of freeing the people from an external, 


reactionary power, claiming that its own particular brand of ex- 
ternal power is neither reactionary nor dictatorial. Wherever the 
Kremlin has found it feasible, it has treated Catholic priests as 
enemies of the people and taken over as many of their social and 
educational functions as possible. Wherever the Church has 
dared, its leaders have fought back with the weapons of boycott 
and mass demonstration. When these weapons have failed, the 
hierarchy has been forced to rely on moral condemnation only; 
and when outspoken public moral condemnation has been im- 
possible, it has reluctantly accepted temporary submission. 

At this writing, the issue in middle and eastern Europe is still 
undecided, but the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the Soviet 
Union. The Catholic Church has lost ground in every country 
wtiere the two antagonists have directly clashed, and Soviet power 
has steadily increased. The Soviet Union, in fact, during the 
thirty-four years of the Vatican-Kremlin struggle, has developed 
from a weak and defeated second-rate power into the greatest 
military regime in Europe and one of the two greatest military 
powers in the world. If the forces of Communist China can be 
counted as part of Soviet military might, the Kremlin now repre- 
sents the greatest aggregation of mass power in all human history. 

During this same period the Vatican has steadily lost power 
in several parts of Europe and America to the rising forces of 
secularism, fascism, socialism, and modem science. It gambled 
on fascism as a potential ally in Italy and Spain, and lost prestige 
with fascism's defeat. It still holds a top-rank position in Italy, 
Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Belgium, and substantial participa- 
tion in power in the Netherlands, West Germany, and France. 
But as a total force in world affairs it is probably less important 
today than it was in 1917, and certainly less secure. Its world- 
wide empire is declining, while that of the Kremlin is expanding. 
Its total membership, perhaps 350,000,000/ is fourteen times 
that of the Communist parties of the world, which are estimated 
at only 25,000,000; but membership is not a very trustworthy 
gauge of power in modern society. Altogether, the Kremlin rules 
at least twice as many people as are included in the entire mem- 
bership rolls of world Catholicism, and its effective military 
power is incomparably greater than that of the predominantly 
Catholic nations. The Vatican, in order to protect itself in a 


material world, must rely on its non-Catholic political allies; it no 
longer has armies and navies of its own; it no longer reigns in a 
Catholic continent in conjunction with Catholic princes. 

The stakes involved in the Vatican-Kremlin battle are very 
high, especially for the Catholic Church, and its very existence 
in eastern Europe depends upon the defeat of the Kremlin. 
Poland was, until its partition under the Hitler-Stalin pact, the 
third Catholic country in Europe, with more than 20,000,000 
Catholics. Hungary and Czechoslovakia had between them 
15,000,000 more Catholics. Today nobody knows how many 
loyal members are left in these countries, but there is not much 
doubt that the younger generation is being weaned away from 
the Church. At least one-eighth of the total world strength of 
Catholicism is directly involved in the fight, and, in a sense, the 
prestige of the whole Catholic system of power is at stake in the 

It is not surprising, therefore, that since the westward advance 
of the Kremlin began, the Vatican has been an open advocate 
of a new holy crusade against the Communist menace. The cleri- 
cal appeals for war against Russia are always dressed in spiritual 
phrases and embroidered with the cliches of peace and prayer, 
but the intent is unmistakable. When the Pope issues an appeal 
to pray for the Russians, and the Catholic press of the world 
simultaneously features every act of Soviet aggression and every 
hysterical denunciation of Soviet policy, the meaning of the 
papal supplication is self-evident. 

The Vatican's "Great Purge" 

In this whole battle in eastern Europe between Vatican and 
Kremlin forces, the Vatican has tried to convince the world that 
the struggle is primarily between atheism and God; and the 
Kremlin has worked with equal zeal to convince the world that 
it is a battle between working-class democracy and reaction. 
Neither has been wholly successful because, in fact, the struggle 
is often complex and confused. The official issues, as described 
by both sides, are frequently not the real issues. The elaborate 
Communist charges of "collaborating with fascist enemies" which 
were leveled against Catholic leaders in the iron-curtain coun- 
tries seemed too pat to be true, even when they had "evidence" 


to support them. The contrary picture presented by Vatican 
propaganda seemed also a little too simple and pure, especially 
for those who were familiar with past Vatican strategy In Euro- 
pean countries. 

The haggard countenance of Cardinal Mindszenty, pictured 
in a Communist-controlled courtroom in Hungary as he sat be- 
tween armed guards, touched the hearts of millions of people in 
the west when it was reproduced in their newspapers, and the 
Catholic Church in the United States exploited popular sympathy 
to the limit. But the western world was not quite so sure about 
the purity of the cardinal's motives when it was disclosed that 
as John Gunther has pointed out the Catholic Church was the 
nation's largest landowner, that the cardinal was bitterly opposed 
to the government's land-reform program, and that he had been 
receiving a salary from the government twice that of the Prime 
Minister. 17 Further doubts were raised in many minds when his 
sympathies with the Hapsburg monarchy were revealed, and 
when he excommunicated every Catholic legislator who voted to 
make the nation's Catholic schools into public schools. Perhaps 
this was a religious fight, and then perhaps it was not. To many 
an outsider it also looked like a fight between two foreign powers, 
the Kremlin and the Vatican, for a Hungary that belonged by 
right to neither. 

Similar doubts were raised in many minds when the Vatican 
attempted to picture the persecution of Catholics in Yugoslavia 
by Tito as purely anti-religious in character. The lean, dark figure 
of Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac, when he was imprisoned by 
the Communists for various political crimes, was pictured very 
effectively in many western newspapers as a martyr for religion 
pure and simple, a victim of atheist Communism. There is no 
doubt that he was a victim of Communist power, but it is also 
true that he had been associated with some of Europe's most 
reactionary, pro-fascist forces, including Ante Pavelitch of Croa- 
tia, whom the Washington Post called quite accurately "the 
Croatian Fuehrer." The Pavelitch regime was bloody and brutal, 
but it never drew any severe rebukes from the Vatican. In fact, 
the Pope had telegraphed a cordial greeting of good wishes to 
Pavelitch in 1943 after he had been in power long enough for the 
world to appreciate the nature of his regime. That regime had 
murdered thousands of Orthodox priests and leaders, and even 


some of Croatia's Roman Catholics thought that their archbishop 
deserved something worse than imprisonment for condoning the 
liquidation of the Vatican's chief religious competitor in the 
region. 18 

Perhaps, also, it was popular doubt about the character of the 
Vatican's holy war that induced the Pope on July 13, 1949, to 
issue a Holy Office decree under which every Catholic sympa- 
thizer with Communism anywhere in the world might be excom- 
municated. The decree attempted to narrow the issue between 
the Kremlin and the Vatican to religion and religious freedom. 
Written in the form of official answers to official questions ad- 
dressed to the Holy Office, the decree pronounced an anathema 
against anyone in the Catholic world who even read the literature 
of Communism or co-operated with a Communist organization 
in any way. It said: 

This Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office has been asked: 

1. Whether it is lawful to enlist in or show favor to the Communist 

No, for Communism is materialistic and anti-Christian. Besides, Com- 
munist leaders, although they sometimes verbally assert that they are not 
opposed to religion, show themselves, nevertheless, both by doctrine and 
by action, to be in reality enemies of God, of the true religion and the 
Church of Christ. 

2. Whether it is lawful to publish, read or disseminate books, news- 
papers, periodicals or leaflets in support of Communist doctrine and prac- 
tice or write in them any articles? 

No, inasmuch as this is prohibited by law itself (of Canon 1399, Corpus 
Juris Canonici) . 

3. Whether Catholics who knowingly and freely place actions as speci- 
fied in questions Nos. 1 and 2 above may be admitted to the sacraments? 

No, in accordance with the common principles governing refusal of the 
sacraments to those not having proper dispositions. 

4. Whether Catholics, who profess and particularly those who defend 
and spread, the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of the Commu- 
nists, ipso facto as apostates from, the Catholic faith, incur excommunica- 
tion reserved especially to the Holy See? 

Yes. 19 

When an excommunication of this character is "reserved espe- 
cially to the Holy See," it does not mean that the punishment 
waits on the Pope's order; the excommunication is incurred auto- 
matically, and the absolution depends on the Pope's mercy. 
The condemnation was so broad that it condemned and ana- 


two weeks after this decree, the Vatican newspaper Osservatore 
Romano pointed out, in effect, that even a sports writer for a 
Communist newspaper might be denied the sacraments, and that 
ordinary Catholics could not read Communist newspapers to 
inform themselves about the Communist side of any argument 
unless they had serious or professional reasons to expose them- 
selves to such dangerous thoughts. 

The reaction to this anti-Communist decree of excommunica- 
tion was much more violent in Europe than in the United States. 
Italy had more than 8,000,000 citizens who had defied Vatican 
pressure in the April 1948 election and cast their votes for the 
left-wing bloc when that bloc had been defeated by the Christian 
Democrat (Catholic) Party. Since the Church claims that 99 
per cent of the Italian people are Catholics, the effect of the 
decree meant that, on the basis of the Church's own reckoning, at 
least 8,000,000 Italian Catholics were, or might be, subject 
to excommunication under its terms. France also had a few 
hundred thousand left-wing Catholic trade unionists who were 
susceptible of classification as victims of this decree because they 
persisted in co-operating with Communist-controlled unions. 
Moreover, the iron-curtain countries of eastern Europe still had 
a few peasants and workers who continued to pray Catholic after 
voting for Communist Party slates. The Communists were shrewd 
enough to base their counter-attack on the Vatican's decree on 
the "victimization" of these poor workers. 

Two weeks after the decree, a Communist-controlled govern- 
ment in Poland declared that it could not be put into force in that 
country. Nine days later the government passed a law penalizing 
with five years imprisonment any priest refusing sacraments to a 
person who co-operated with the government. 20 The left-wing 
Polish regime was clever enough to use the most approved shib- 
boleths of freedom in announcing its "humane" law. The law 
prescribes a penalty of five years imprisonment for any person 
"who misuses freedom of creed by refusing to 1st another person 
participate in a religious ceremony because of political, social or 
scientific activities or opinions." 

In Czechoslovakia the left-wing government waited only two 
days after the decree to announce that anyone who attempted 
to enforce the excommunication feature of the decree would be 


prosecuted for treason. Three weeks later the government sent a 
priest to prison for eight years, allegedly for refusing to adminis- 
ter the sacraments to a dying Communist. The reaction of the 
outside press was not unanimously favorable to the imprisoned 
priest in this case. Perhaps that was one reason why similar tac- 
tics were not resorted to by priests elsewhere, and the Church 
virtually suspended the application of the rule that Communists 
should be denied Catholic sacraments. In Czechoslovakia the 
Catholic bishops failed to implement the decree on the technical 
ground that they could not call a full official meeting. 

The Communists, in their counter-attack on the decree in 
Pravda, declared that "the Holy Fathers have not belched such 
mass curses at least since the twelfth century/* and that even then 
"the number of heretics to be burned did not reach such astro- 
nomical figures." 21 But the astronomical figures existed only in 
the imagination of the Communists and in the loosely phrased 
terms of the decree itself. After the tremendous initial ballyhoo, 
the actual enforcement of the decree soon petered out. It became 
almost impossible for any journalist in Europe to discover any 
specific Catholic who had been penalized under its terms. About 
one month after its promulgation a new "interpretation" was 
issued by the Holy Office, in order, as the New York Times put 
it, "to clarify but in no wise to alter the fundamental principles." 
"The Holy Office," said the Times, "was moved principally by 
the desire not to withhold the benefits of religion from the chil- 
dren of Communist marriages. It was felt that if all marriages 
of Communists were indiscriminately barred, many potentially 
religious children would be driven away from the church. It was 
also felt that any Communist who accepted the conditions laid 
down by the church was sure to be at most a lukewarm Commu- 
nist and therefore not incapable of being won over." 22 This was 
tantamount to an admission that the original decree was unen- 
forceable. The Vatican had attempted a "great purge/' but had 
discovered that ecclesiastical penalties were not very effective 
weapons for destroying opposition forces in the twentieth century. 

The Washington-Rome Axis 

During this whole struggle in eastern Europe it had become in- 
creasingly evident that the Vatican could not stand alone against 


such a determined and militarized power as the Kremlin, and 
that it must rely chiefly on American sympathy for future safety. 
(Already America supplies most of the Church's contributed 
funds.) Catholic propaganda in America became increasingly 
important. Every incident of Kremlin persecution was drama- 
tized and underscored for American consumption in the hope 
that the United States would use its power on the Vatican side 
in the conflict. (The Communists by this time had become so 
completely hostile to the United States that they made almost no 
attempt to disguise their depredations for American consump- 

In terms of power politics the Vatican was quite justified in 
directing its diplomatic energies toward the United States. Dur- 
ing the thirty-four years of continuous struggle between the Vati- 
can and the Kremlin the whole balance of power of the modern 
world had altered. The traditional Catholic states had declined 
in military rank. The United States had become the most im- 
portant single power in international democratic affairs, and it 
was generally admitted that only the power of the Soviet Union 
might successfully challenge it in war. In these circumstances 
Rome looked more and more to Washington. If it could not con- 
vince Washington of the justice of its cause, its struggle for 
survival seemed hopeless. 

At the beginning of World War I, the power alignment had 
been very different. Then Great Britain, Germany, the United 
States, France, Italy, Japan, and Russia were all substantial 
military powers. Now the fate of the Vatican, surrounded by 
Communist and Socialist forces, depends largely on the friendship 
of the United States. The Vatican is aware that it was American 
money, mostly taxpayers' money, and the threat of American 
arms, that saved Catholic forces in Italy from inundation in a 
Communist tide in 1948, and that it is chiefly American Catholic 
money today which is paying for Vatican expansion. That is 
one reason why the Vatican is so desperately anxious to maintain 
American friendship and to demonstrate to the American people 
that Rome stands for a way of life consistent with the American 
democratic ideal. 

In the chapters that are to follow I propose to examine that 
claim in some detail, beginning with a comparison between the 
basic power structures of the Vatican and the Kremlin. 

The Kremlin Structure of Power 

full-grown from the brow of Lenin, it was a conscious creation 
of Lenin and his associates, and its creators knew exactly what 
they wanted. They wanted to destroy an old civilization quickly 
and build a new one in place of it. And they succeeded. They 
deliberately used the white heat of a revolutionary upheaval in 
the attempt to create an entirely new kind of social order. That 
is one fact which distinguishes the Kremlin system of power from 
the Vatican system. The Vatican edifice was built brick by brick; 
the Kremlin structure was thrown up by a man-made earthquake. 

The institutions which Lenin and Trotsky began in 1917 
turned out to be much less original than they imagined, and an 
astonishing number of the ideas and practices of Tsarist Russia 
have survived, in altered form, in the new society. The Kremlin 
system of government is autocratic partly because it grew out of 
an environment of autocracy and ignorance. Russia's masses 
were relatively untrained in the ways of democratic life, and at 
the time of the Russian revolution of March 1917, it is doubtful 
whether half the people of Russia could read and write. 

For a few years after the 1 905 rebellion, Tsar Nicholas II had 
granted the people limited rights in an elected legislature, but 
the franchise for elections to the Duma was so limited and the 
representation so heavily weighted in favor of the upper classes 
that it is hardly fair to describe the brief experience as an ex- 
perience in democracy. It was rather an experience in slightly 
mitigated autocracy. Only 1 5 per cent of the people were allowed 
to vote for the Third Duma, after the electoral machinery of 
reform had been operating for many years, and the members 



of that Duma were hedged about with all kinds of Imperial re- 
strictions. When Lenin argued that the legislative assembly of 
"bourgeois democracy 5 ' was at best only a springboard for revo- 
lutionary agitation, he could use Russia's experience with the 
Duma as an illustration. 

The Russian masses had no discipline in freedom to prepare 
them for their great experiment. Until 1906 ordinary Russians 
did not even have the right to move about freely, or live where 
they wished, or work for the government. Bertram Wolfe has 
referred to a witticism which the Russians applied to themselves 
in describing their own bondage. Other people, according to the 
saying, might "consist of two parts, Body and Soul, but the Rus- 
sians of three: Body, Soul and Passport." 1 

Government assignment of workers to specific jobs, and gov- 
ernment domination of industry began in Russia long before the 
Communists had invented their own patterns of compulsion. In 
fact, the Bolsheviks inherited for their vast experiment in central- 
ized power millions of docile subjects who had been trained to 
complete obedience in the greatest state machine in all pre-revo- 
lutionary history. The Tsarist government was the chief banker 
and the chief industrialist of Russia before the Bolshevik regime 
arrived. Before 1905, in fact, the government and the imperial 
family owned two-thirds of all the land in Russia proper. 

Before the revolution the prodigious power of the Tsarist 
government was used to maintain a system of five social classes 
and estates based on inheritance and special privilege: the no- 
bility, the clergy, the merchants, the burghers, and the peasants. 
Only one of these classes, the nobility, had any substantial place 
in politics. The others were, on the whole, subordinate classes. 
The peasants could move about, but in other respects they were 
little better than serfs. Social equality as we know it in the United 
States was foreign to the national atmosphere and unfamiliar to 
the people. Jews were confined to special areas and governed by 
special restrictive laws. The nobility and the state-controlled 
clergy dominated the imperial court. The Tsar himself, accord- 
ing to national law, was ordained by God to exercise supreme 
autocratic power. He could suspend all laws, overrule all courts, 
and intervene in any military command. When Nicholas II was 
asked at the time of his marriage to declare publicly that his 


regime would be a government of law and that Ms agents would 
be compelled to respect national law, he replied: "Let all know 
that I intend to defend the principle of autocracy as unswerv- 
ingly as did my father." 

When the March 1917 revolution began, it took just five days 
to dispose of Nicholas and his oligarchy. His regime collapsed 
under the dead weight of its own incompetence and crime and 
the acute tensions of war. Nobody had worked out a careful 
plan for its destruction. Some of the strikers who participated in 
the relatively mild first stages of the March revolution were as 
much surprised as the Tsar himself when their modest efforts 
produced the greatest social upheaval in the history of man. 
Lenin also was surprised. The actual revolution did not follow 
his blueprints, and when he returned from exile in April 1917, 
after the first shooting was over, having been permitted to cross 
Germany in a sealed train, it took him several months to turn 
the preliminary "bourgeois" revolution into the thoroughgoing 
Marxian affair that he had visualized. 

Although Karl Marx was the godfather of this Bolshevik 
revolution, he did not draft its battle plan, for he had died almost 
thirty-five years before it began, and bequeathed to his followers 
a jumbled blend of brilliant analysis and bad prophecy which 
became the bible of the European revolutionary working class. 
His bewhiskered image served as a kind of holy cloud that went 
before the hosts of his followers in their journey toward the 
promised land and the actual direction of the revolution fell 
to Lenin. Perhaps it was just as well for Lenin that Karl Marx 
had never attempted to describe in detail the social order which 
he called socialism. No blueprint drawn in advance could pos- 
sibly have served as an accurate guide in the long struggle that 
followed 1917. Lenin changed his blueprints day by day. He 
did not hesitate to remodel and reinterpret the philosophy of 
the master when there were gaps in the master's system of 
thought, although he was shrewd enough to profess that he 
always followed the principles of Marx even when he was march- 
ing sturdily in the opposite direction. His followers found com- 
fort and strength in the conviction that they were obeying the 
traditions of the Marxian scripture. 

As the revolution progressed and the new government gained 


in power, it became apparent that its policies were pragmatic 
even when its professed principles were unchangeable. Its actual 
machinery of power was adapted from day to day to the needs 
of ruling a backward people schooled in subjection and nurtured 
on tyranny. 

The Kremlin Pyramid 

What kind of power structure has come out of this unique 
social revolution? On the whole it is tyrannical and cruel, but 
it is also fluid and adaptable. It makes use of dogma and tradi- 
tion, but it is never limited by dogma and tradition. 

In a sense, the Kremlin power structure is a pyramid with 
Joseph Stalin at the top. Stalin determines what the Communist 
Party of the Soviet Union will do, and the Communist Party 
determines what the Soviet government and the Cominform will 
do. But Stalin's power is not official and self-perpetuating like 
that of the Papacy, and he has no right under Soviet law to de- 
termine the limits of his own jurisdiction, or to rewrite the funda- 
mental law of his country in order to continue in power. Even 
the rule of his Party must nominally find some sanction in the 
loyalty of the great masses of workers and peasants. 

Actually, Joseph Stalin is the peak of a whole series of power 
pyramids which overlap each other and which, together, consti- 
tute the real government of the entity known as the Soviet Union. 
The most important pyramid is that of the Communist Party 
of the USSR, which serves as a kind of super-government for 
the Soviet Union and for the Communist movement of the world. 
The next most important pyramid is the official Soviet govern- 
ment itself, which is a federal centralized government ruling over 
sixteen Soviet Republics. The third pyramid is that of the Com- 
munist Information Bureau, or Cominform, which rules the 
Communist parties throughout the world. The fourth pyramid 
is the all-pervading secret police, now active in every country 
under Soviet domination. Alongside of these four primary pyra- 
mids is a whole series of lesser pyramids which also shape up 
to one peak, Joseph Stalin. There is the Soviet Union's labor 
pyramid, heading up into the World Federation of Trade Unions, 
and there are similar pyramids for a vast network of collateral 
organizations, ranging from military-training squads for small 
boys to national associations of philologists. 


Stalin's dictatorship in this whole scheme of power is an 
achieved dictatorship, not an inherited one. No one knows how 
much of his authority would evaporate if he should die tomorrow. 
In fact, it is one of the nightmares of all authors who write about 
Stalin that he might die before their books go to press. Is he 
not past seventy and is not even the flesh of dictators mortal? 
It is anybody's guess what will happen when he dies. A trium- 
virate may succeed him, or a single dictator, or there may be a 
revolution from the right, or a revolution from the left, or, most 
improbable of all, a Russian social-democratic state. 

The best guess is that nothing much will happen to Kremlin 
power when Stalin dies. The men who operate the Kremlin are 
disciplined and able leaders who have built a well-knit power 
machine that may last for generations without a personalized 
Communist deity at its head. 

At present Stalin's dictatorship is so unofficial that there is no 
description of his role in the laws of his country. It is true that 
he is Generalissimo, Secretary General of the Central Committee 
of the Communist Party, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, 
and First Member of the Supreme Soviet. But even this mighty 
combination of offices and titles would not in itself give him 
the right to dictate to the Russian people if he had not built up a 
scheme of auxiliary controls along with the pretentious offices. 
Officially the Russian people have a constitutional democracy 
with a class framework. Officially it protects them from some 
of the worst abuses of dictatorial power. It will be worth while 
to look at this official setup to see how much of it is a false front 
and how much of it is reality. 

Democracy on Paper 

The Soviet Union has had three written constitutions since 
the revolution, one in 1918, one in 1924, and one in 1936. 
The first one applied only to the Russian Soviet Republic. Nomi- 
nally the 1936 constitution, often called the Stalin Constitution, 
is in force today. Actually, as we shall see, no written law in the 
Kremlin's system of power can be taken at face value. Wherever 
democracy exists in the system, it is nearly always a paper democ- 

All three of the Soviet's constitutions have been based upon 


the theory that the Soviet Union Is a dictatorship by the working 
class. In the early days of the new state, city workers were the 
backbone of the revolution. Councils of soldiers and city workers 
served as strike committees in the great rebellion in 1905. Lenin 
was shrewd enough to seize upon these Councils as logical instru- 
ments of revolution, and the resultant Soviets of Workers and 
Soldiers Deputies played a vital part in the 1917 Bolshevik 

Even after 1 924, the Soviet Constitution discriminated against 
large non-proletarian sections of the population, including em- 
ployers of labor, private traders, rich peasants, priests, and former 
princes. For a time in the elections for the All-Union Soviets, 
the Bolsheviks actually gave the city proletariat a five-to-one 
preference in voting rights over the peasants. 

As the Communists grew stronger and more confident, they 
expanded the base of their electoral system, and in the 1939 
Congress of the Communist Party they opened the door to the 
intelligentsia in the same way that they had previously welcomed 
the workers and peasants. 2 Today almost everybody in Russia is 
considered sufficiently proletarian to vote unless he has com- 
mitted a crime or tried to form an opposition party. In that case 
he may be given the opportunity of serving the state in a forced- 
labor camp. 

There are today 111,116,000 voters in the Soviet Union, and 
99 per cent of them vote at election time. Nominally, they vote 
on the basis of universal, secret, unweighted suffrage, one vote 
for every man and woman who has reached the age of eighteen. 
Nominally, also, the Soviet Union is ruled by a democratic gov- 
ernment with three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial, 
all controlled, as the British system is controlled, by the elected 
legislative body. (The Communists do not like our doctrine of 
the separation of powers.) The Supreme Soviet, the highest 
organ of state power, is the legislative branch; the Council of 
Ministers, formed by the Supreme Soviet, is the executive branch; 
the Supreme Court and the Attorney Genera], also chosen by 
the Supreme Soviet, make up the judicial branch. 3 

The Supreme Soviet is elected every four years after a great 
campaign of public "education" and discussion, and it is sup- 
posed to meet twice a year in two large houses for very short 


sessions. The numbers in eacii house vary slightly from year 
to year. One house, the Council of the Union, has 682 deputies 
elected on a geographical basis from districts with a population 
of 300,000; the other house, the Council of Nationalities, has 
657 deputies and is elected by the constituent republics of the 
Soviet Union. The whole Supreme Soviet in 1946 had a Commu- 
nist Party proportion of 8 1 per cent. 

Outwardly this Supreme Soviet has many of the features of 
a western democratic assembly. Its meetings receive much pub- 
licity. Its deputies are hard-working and are besieged by com- 
plaints from constituents; they make speeches and travel free 
on the railroads; they elect their own committees and do a large 
part of the work of legislation in those committees. Nominally 
they have much more power than American congressmen. On 
paper, they can amend the Soviet Constitution, elect the Supreme 
Court, declare war, and determine the policy of the armed forces. 
Nominally they elect the oversize Council of Ministers which, in 
1946, included sixty-four executives. No court can declare the 
acts of this Supreme Soviet unconstitutional. 

In practice the legislators of the Supreme Soviet leave almost 
all of the most important decisions to an inner group of members. 
The Supreme Soviet itself sits only about ten days to two weeks 
each year, and during the rest of the year its powers are exercised 
by a thirty-three-man Presidium which does everything but draft 
permanent laws. It is composed entirely of Communists. It not 
only issues decrees that are just as important as laws, but also puts 
them into force even before they have been referred to the Su- 
preme Soviet for approval. Also it serves the nation as a kind 
of collective president in dealing with foreign powers. 

I hope that this description has not given any reader the im- 
pression that the government of the Soviet Union should be taken 
at face value. Actually the reality is quite distinct from the 
appearance. Nevertheless, there is one feature of the scheme 
which contains some bona fide elements of democracy. All the 
great Kremlin agencies have excellent pipelines running down 
into almost every factory, mine, university, village, and farm 
in Russia. The flow of opinion in these pipelines is not entirely a 
one-way affair. The government's contacts with the masses have 
what Professor Julian Towster might call "opinion-tapping and 


policy-crystallizing" value. The contacts serve as political barom- 
eters and "attraction devices." 3 

Of course, the purpose of the opinion-tapping devices is fre- 
quently destructive. The Kremlin's aim in maintaining a pipeline 
to any particular local group may be the prevention and sup- 
pression of honest thinking and accurate information in that 
group. The Kremlin tends to regard its whole intelligence net- 
work as a kind of espionage system. "In our Soviet country," 
Stalin said once, "we must evolve a system of government that 
will permit us with certainty to anticipate all changes, to perceive 
everything that is going on among the peasants, the nationals, the 
non-Russian nations and the Russians; the system of supreme 
organs must possess a number of barometers which will anticipate 
every change, register and forestall ... all possible storms and 
ill-fortune. That is the Soviet system of government." 4 

Because of this "barometer" policy, there is a great deal of 
speech by the Russian masses but it is not, by American stand- 
ards, free speech; it is controlled speech. It has therapeutic value 
in eliminating some of the worst abuses of power, but it is never 
permitted to go beyond certain limits. In fact, the protests of 
the Soviet masses are not entirely unlike those of the serfs in 
the days of the Tsar; they can be heeded or not according to the 
seriousness of the threat involved. "In general," says Barrington 
Moore, Jr., in his study, Soviet Politics the Dilemma of Power, 
"the power of the population to influence the policy of the Com- 
munist Party leadership is about equal to the power of a balky 
mule to influence its driver." 5 

The worst defects of the controlled system show up at election 
time. Then it becomes apparent that the whole system, with its 
111,116,000 voters, is manipulated by a small political bloc in 
such a manner that genuine popular choice is denied. According 
to the Constitution, candidates for the Supreme Soviet can be 
nominated by six kinds of groups, including the Communist 
Party, and these groups are free to campaign openly for their 
nominees. In practice the course of the campaign for candidates 
for the Supreme Soviet is always determined in advance. The 
Communist Party always "participates" with other groups in se- 
lecting candidates. This means that a vigorous critic of the 
Party's policy is always sifted out at the beginning of the elective 


process. If, by any chance, the name of a real enemy of the- 
Party slips by the first screening, his name can be vetoed at the 
next administrative level by an area election commission. The 
area election commissions are always predominantly Communist. 
The New York Times has even recorded an instance in which a 
candidate's name was replaced by another name after being 
printed on the ballot. 

The Communists are quite shameless and unabashed about this 
kind of manipulation. They do not accept western standards for 
free elections, and they make no pretense about it. Ordinarily 
they do not permit more than one candidate for any office on a 
ballot, and before election day they force an agreement on a single 
slate of candidates. If they cannot reach an agreement by sua- 
sion, they impose the single slate of candidates anyway. In 1946, 
Stalin commented that "if people here and there do elect hostile 
persons, it will show that our propaganda work was organized 
very badly indeed and that we fully deserve such a disgrace." 6 
Usually the "disgrace" is avoided by strenuous manipulation and 
heavy pressure on lower officials long before the name of a critical 
candidate has reached a ballot. 

In the election of 1 946 for the Supreme Soviet, the single offi- 
cial slate of candidates received 99.2 per cent of the vote. In 
1950 the percentage was 99.98. In 1946 more than 800,000 
votes were cast against the government's slate for Council of the 
Union; in 1950 only about 300,000 voters ventured to challenge 
the system in any way. That is a negligible number in a voting 
list of 111,116,000. The 1950 result was hailed by the Com- 
munists as a very "satisfactory" outcome in the "most democratic" 
election in the world. 7 

The Government Above the Government 
What power can compel some 200,000,000 people to accept 
such a travesty of democracy? The answer is: the Communist 
Party. In the Kremlin's scheme of power the Communist Party 
is the government within the government and the government 
above the government. It has the recognized moral right to 
determine the fundamental policy of every political and economic 
unit within which it operates. As the Agitator's Guidebook said 
in 1947: "The All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks is 


the organizing and directing force in the Soviet Government, the 
heart, brain and spirit of the people, the leader and teacher of 
the workers." 8 The Communist Party is the party of equality as 
well as power, a party of superior devotees dedicated to the com- 
mon good. As one writer put it in Pravda: "The Party is the 
advanced, conscious detachment of the working class, containing 
all the best elements of the proletariat, armed with revolutionary 
theory." 9 

The Russian people have been conditioned by a generation 
of intensive propaganda to accept the Communist Party as the 
rightful director of the whole national machinery, the authorized 
governing class of the nation. The Party's claim to leadership 
is not based on force alone. The organization, as we shall see 
later, includes men of great competence and intense convictions, 
fired by a deep but perverted religious ardor. Their exercise of 
dictatorial power is infused with prodigious energy and genuine 
devotion to their cause. 

The Communist Party originally developed its conspiratorial 
conception of rule under the guidance of Lenin, when all the 
revolutionary parties of Russia were outlaws fighting against the 
Tsar. Lenin, as a good Marxist, taught his disciples that an 
interim period of dictatorship was necessary to effect the transi- 
tion from capitalism to socialism. He conceived of the Party 
as a group of the elite, controlling the mass, and operating the 
revolution and the dictatorship for the purposes which they held 
to be valid. The members of the elite were to be well disciplined, 
resolute, and ready to die for the new society. They were to be 
entrusted with the task of educating and guiding the masses of 
the people toward a collectivized world. Their function, as both 
Lsnin and Stalin pointed out, was to form through their dictator- 
ship "a higher type of democracy . . . which expresses the in- 
terests of the majority (the exploited) as against capitalist democ- 
racy which expresses the interests of the minority (the ex- 
ploiters)." 10 

Lenin had no patience with the claims of any non-Party groups 
to share in power. He was ruthless and often unprincipled in 
opposing non-Bolshevik organizations. A few weeks after the 
Bolshevik revolution, he lost the first free election for a Con- 
stituent Assembly to the opposition parties, winning less than 


one-fourth of the votes for the Bolshevik Party; but he discarded 

the result, emphasized the Bolshevik victory in the great cities, 
and denied that the non-Bolshevik parties had received any 
mandate from the people. 11 His Red soldiers closed the newly 
elected Constituent Assembly the day after it convened. Lenin, 
however, was never so abrupt in dealing with his own party, and 
he never attempted to attain the supreme dictatorial powers later 
assumed by Stalin. The central committee of the early Bolshevik 
Party was not a one-man affair; its debates were relatively free 
and, during that early period, some genuine differences of opinion 
were permitted in high places. For a few years the opposition 
was even allowed to publish its criticisms. 

In the gradual process of centralizing power into a permanent 
dictatorship, Lenin and his successors claimed to be carrying 
out the one true gospel of Karl Marx. They carefully selected 
those Marxian gospel passages which confirmed their prejudices. 
They attempted to make every important decision appear to be 
a logical fulfillment of the principles of their master's materialism. 
Their citations seem to be very impressive until one begins to 
read the equally persuasive Marxian citations of their opponents. 

Within two years after the revolution the Bolshevik (Commu- 
nist) Party became the party of the nation, the directing force 
of all economic and political policy. At first its role was entirely 
unofficial. Then, when it had become secure in power, it wrote 
its mandates into the 1936 Constitution and became officially 
"the directing kernel of all organizations of toilers both public 
and state." By 1938 the Party was willing to admit in its official 
history that the great movement for the collectivization of agri- 
culture in the 1930's was a revolution "from above." 12 This 
change, according to the official history, was supported by "mil- 
lions of peasants," but there was no pretense that the movement 
began with the peasants or was directed by them. The support 
was described as coming "from below." The millions of peasants 
who died during the process of forced collectivization were just 
as dead as if they had been exterminated by the forces of the Tsar. 

At no time in this process of growth and development has the 
Communist Party been an open, people's party in the western 
democratic sense. Membership has always been a privilege, not a 
right. Except in wartime, adult applicants for membership are 


carefully screened before admission, and forced to work for a 
considerable time as probationers. Those who aje too inde- 
pendent to serve with blind loyalty are not usually admitted to 
final membership this has been the general rule, except during 
World War II when the bars were let down for a time in order to 
secure mass support in time of crisis. In 1950, the Party num- 
bered only 7,000,000 members, about 6 per cent of the voting 
population of the Soviet Union. They were the devotees, the 
fanatics, and the saints of the inner temple of Communist faith. 

The use of the Party organization as a nucleus and a spear- 
head makes it clear why no ordinary chart of power structure can 
explain the Kremlin. The Party is inside of every organized unit 
in Russian life. It is more like a fanatical fraternity than an 
American political party. It is something like a Jesuit order or 
an officers' corps in an army. Since its policies are created at 
the top, the incoming flow of millions of new members at the 
bottom does not guarantee that the Party will become demo- 
cratic. Every new member is compelled in advance of admission 
to submit to the Communist hierarchy's tests of loyalty. 

An organization under such dictatorial control could easily 
become ossified and static if it were not for the great network 
of pipelines that run out from central headquarters to all parts 
of the nation. This contact machinery keeps the Party dynamic. 
The process of renewal through partial freedom has been well 
described by Warren B. Walsh and Roy A. Price of Syracuse 
University in their Russia: A Handbook: 

In summary the Soviet Union is governed by a dictatorship, but at 
least two qualifications must be added to this statement. First, the govern- 
ment is not a tyranny which operates without any regard for the will of 
the people. Popular opinion, although by no means always decisive, is 
never ignored by the rulers of Russia. The Party apparatus which trans- 
mits orders downward also is equally efficient in transmitting reports of 
the popular will to the top. These reports may sometimes be overruled, 
but they are always taken into account. Certain things, such as the form 
of government, may not be questioned, but within rather narrow and 
understood limits there is much greater freedom of discussion and criticism 
in the Soviet Union than is generally recognized by people outside the 
country. 13 

To stimulate the right kind of discussion in the masses, the 
Party has official agitators, about 2,000,000 of them throughout 


Russia, one for every sixty-five persons in the country over fifteen 
years of age. They serve as the "spiritual" leaders of every type 
of cultural and propaganda organization which feeds strength into< 
the Party. 14 In function their activity falls about midway between: 
that of a Tammany leader and a parish priest. During the elec- 
tion campaign of 1946, the Party stepped up its propaganda 
campaign and appointed 3,000,000 agitators instead of 2,000,- 
000. For the purpose of inspiring and instructing these profes- 
sional agitators, the Party publishes a semi-monthly magazine 
called the Agitator's Guidebook, which had a circulation in 1939 
of 650,000 copies, the top circulation for Russian journals at 
that time. 

The feeder organizations cover the whole nation and reach 
every age group. The most important is the Young Communists 
or Komsomols, numbering perhaps 15,000,000 young people 
ranging in ages from 15 to 26. Its official name is the All-Russian 
Leninist Communist League of Youth, and its task is two-fold: 
to feed new human strength into the Party, and to make all of 
Russia's younger children sympathetic to Communism. All its 
officers who serve in the higher echelons must be Communist 
Party members, and even the secretaries of village branches must 
be approved by district secretaries, who ultimately come under a 
leader appointed by the Politburo itself. 

The Komsomol organization is the chief recruiting agency for 
the Party, and it serves as a kind of broad testing ground for all 
new aspirants to Party position. It admits young members rather 
freely, without much screening, and then the higher officers watch 
the new recruits carefully to eliminate those who do not fit 
snugly into the Party system. In general, the Komsomol organi- 
zation is an immense success. It played an important part in 
Russian victory in World War II, and in the various elections for 
the Supreme Soviets after the war it was strikingly successful in 
getting out the vote. At the present time, one of its most im- 
portant tasks is to supervise and foster two groups of younger 
children, the Pioneers (10 to 16), and the little Octobrists (8 
to 11), who serve as a kind of Communist Boy Scout movement, 
developing habits of loyalty and obedience to the Kremlin. 

By the use of similar techniques the Russian labor unions have 
become as completely subservient to the Communist Party as 


the Komsomols. "Soviet Trade Unions/ 9 says a statute of the 
Congress of Trade Unions of the USSR, adopted in 1949, "carry 

on their work under the leadership of the Communist Party, the 
organizing and directing force of Soviet society." 15 Nominally 
these statutes of the Russian trade unions give the workers the 
right to strike and to participate in the control of their unions, 

but all trade unions are officially operated by Communist-con- 
trolled agencies on the basis of the principle of "democratic 
centralism." In practice they are "speed-up" agencies for Soviet 
production, using the class shibboleths of free labor. The Central 
Committee of each union is responsible to the Congress of Trade 
Unions, and the Congress of Trade Unions is responsible to the 
Politburo. This is the pattern of Russia's "free" labor system. 

The Mysterious Politburo 

Although the Communist Party begins at the grass roots of 
Russian life with political cells in schools, factories, mines, farm 
co-operatives, and the army, it is topped by the most powerful 
and aloof group of political leaders in the modern world, the 
mysterious and sacrosanct Politburo. Names of some of the mem- 
bers of this Politburo have become world-famous Stalin, Molo- 
tov, Bulganin, Malenkov, Beria but the organization itself is 
shrouded in secrecy. Technically it is a subordinate commission 
of the seventy-two-man Central Committee of the Communist 
Party, but actually it is itself the fountain of all Kremlin power. 
Its ten to fourteen members rule the whole power structure of 
world Communism with a sway which is absolute and unques- 
tioned. The Politburo's power runs down to 1 13,000 Party cells, 
through the All-Union Party Congress, which is officially the 
supreme authority of the Party, and through the Party's top 
bureaus and committees. Technically, the whole Party's structure 
is built upon elective assemblies and committees, but in actual 
practice the power is completely centralized in the Politburo. 

Gradually, in the years since the revolution, this system of 
power has become more and more top-heavy. At the beginning, 
the Party held frequent congresses and conferences, and even 
represented anti-Stalinist points of view. Then, with the rise of 
Stalin, it met less and less frequently. Although it is required by 
its laws to meet at least once in three years, there have been only 


three meetings in the last nineteen years, and during those years 
Stalin and Ms associates have gradually tightened their control 
over every aspect of the great Communist machine. Now the 
' Politburo is supreme but in practice the Politburo means the 
son of a Georgian cobbler, the world's most powerful single in- 
dividual, Josef Djugashvili. 

Around him in the Politburo sit the men who rule the Com- 
munist system of power. Although their names are known to 
the public, their published histories have great gaps in the record. 
Since the Communist Party controls the nation's publicity ma- 
chine, only those facts which are of service to the Party are 
made public. The personal lives of the leaders are often shrouded 
in great mystery. Even the place of Politburo meetings is a care- 
fully guarded secret, and the roster of rank within the organiza- 
tion is revealed only indirectly in official publicity material. 
Under its rules every decision is announced as unanimous, and 
the public never knows whose voice was raised in a defeated 
minority and promptly silenced by Stalin. 

Probably it is safe to say that major issues get thorough dis- 
cussion behind the closed doors of the Politburo. The men who 
are sifted upward through the great Party network of power until 
they reach the pinnacle of Politburo heights are often men of 
great ability and administrative skill. They have been tested by 
decades of devotion. "These men," said General Walter Bedell 
Smith in My Three Years in Moscow, "are, in every sense of the 
word, dedicated men. As a group they represent the most eifec- 
tive form of authoritarian dictatorship, that is, dictatorship by 
committee. They are, without exception, intelligent, able, dis- 
ciplined, and indefatigable. I doubt that any statesmen in the 
world work half as hard as those of the Soviet Union. They are 
Stalin's men, loyal to him and owe their advancement to him 
and to his appreciation of their merits and abilities." 16 

For our purposes the important thing to note about this top 
echelon of Communist power is that it governs its world by its 
own special type of party responsibility. Party responsibility in 
the Kremlin system is quite different from party responsibility 
in a democratic society. Parties in a democracy are responsible 
to the .people. They are subject to the laws made by the repre- 
sentatives of the majority. In the Kremlin system of power all 


members of the Party are responsible not to the people but to 
the heads of the Party. The internal government is the supreme 
government; the external government is a showpiece. The in- 
ternal government must never yield its point of view to any other 
group no matter how great the majority against it. Its own 
sovereignty is the only sovereignty that counts: that is what the 
Party means by the principle of democratic centralism. First 
things come first, and the Party is first. Any legislator or bu- 
reaucrat who questions that dictum is bound to be expelled from 
his Party and government post. If he persists in defiance, the 
secret police trail him down, the People's Court sentences him, 
and the Soviet's railroads (fourth class) carry him off to Siberia. 
That is what makes the Soviet Union a police state in spite of its 
professions of lofty idealism. Lenin said in 1901: "We have 
never rejected terror on principle, nor can we do so." 1T The new 
nation which he helped to build has followed his dictum literally. 

International Headquarters 

The Kremlin's control over world Communism through the 
Cominform is based on the same principle of rule by a govern- 
ment within a government. Nominally the world Communist 
movement is self -determining. Each constituent nation with a 
Communist Party of its own sends delegates to central Commu- 
nist headquarters, and there the wise men of the movement are 
supposed to draw up plans for continuing world revolution. In 
practice the overwhelming superiority of the Communist Party 
of the Soviet Union in money and men makes all other Commu- 
nist parties subordinate to it. It is the "Mother Church," and 
it is also the mint and treasury of world Communism. "In our 
time," said Pravda in January 1949, "one can be a genuine revo- 
lutionary and internationalist only by unconditionally defending 
and supporting the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the 
Soviet Union itself." 18 

This subordination of world Communism to Russian power has 
developed gradually over the past twenty-five years. In the be- 
'ginning the Socialist internationals, from which the Communist 
movement broke away, were representative organs of the revolu- 
tionary working class. Even the first Communist international, 
organized in 1919, quite fairly represented the leftist factions in 


some fifty-eight countries, and the first Communist congress con- 
tained many world leaders of considerable independence and 

After Lenin's death and the rise of Stalin, the Comintern 
gradually lost independence. The turning point came when 
Stalin was chosen Secretary General of the Russian Communist 
Party in 1922. He immediately began to establish personal boss 
rule in the various national units outside of Russia, and Commu- 
nist leaders from the United States and Europe soon discovered 
that they were completely helpless in the face of his wishes. 
Representatives of the Comintern in many countries became vir- 
tually Stalin's personal agents, not representatives of their revo- 
lutionary constituents. 

The full extent of the new boss control was revealed at the 
1928 Sixth World Congress of the Comintern at Moscow, when 
all resolutions were passed unanimously. Behind that unanimity 
lay not agreement but skillfully manipulated coercion. Within a 
year after that boss-controlled Congress, Stalin had established 
so complete a dictatorship over the Communist parties of the 
world that even in far-away America he could bludgeon a nine-to- 
one majority in the American Communist Party into ousting the 
Party's top secretary, Jay Lovestone. 19 Thereafter, he calmly sub- 
stituted as Secretary of the Party William Z. Foster, whose faction 
had polled only 10 per cent of the vote at the preceding party 
convention; and presently he substituted Earl Browder for Foster, 
and then yanked out Browder to reinstate Foster. Ironically 
enough, Stalin attempted almost the same maneuver against Tito 
twenty years later in Yugoslavia, and he failed only because, by 
that time, the* Communists of Yugoslavia knew what to expect 
when they challenged his dictatorship. 

During this period the Comintern became more and more arro- 
gant in dealing with labor parties which approached it in the hope 
of self-respecting co-operation. The small, left-wing Independent 
Labor Party of Great Britain asked the Comintern in 1934 in 
"what way it could assist in the work of the Communist Inter- 
national," and received a brusque reply: 

A party cannot be regarded as sympathizing with Communism unless 
it fights against the treacherous social-democracy, against the Second In- 
ternational and the reformist leaders of the trade unions and comes out 


decisively against all attempts to create new internationals. A party cannot 
be regarded as sympathizing with Communism unless it sympathizes with 
the slogan of Soviet power and supports the Soviet Union. 20 

During all these years of the building of Stalin's personal sys- 
tem of power, the representatives of the Comintern were acting 
as secret revolutionary agents within each nation. In time of war 
they were spies and in time of peace merely agitators; but the 
distinction was unimportant, because the Kremlin considered 
itself in a perpetual state of war against non-Russian civilization. 
And today the same agents and their successors are playing the 
same role in virtually every nation in the world, obeying the or- 
ders of the Kremlin and attempting, to destroy the governments 
of the countries in which they operate. In describing them it is 
impossible to draw a dividing line between the intellectual ad- 
he/rents and the military agents, because, in a sense, all the 
ideological agents of the Kremlin are commandeered by central 
headquarters as military agents also. 

It would be a mistake to think of these Kremlin agents merely 
as criminals or gangsters, even though their tactics are often 
criminal; for in their own estimation their ideals are noble and 
exalted. Their ranks include many devoted dreamers and ideal- 
ists who regard their work as a holy sacrifice for humanity. Un- 
fortunately for the idealism of these comrades, the ruthless boss 
rule of international Communism has become more and more 
apparent in recent years. The atmosphere at central headquarters 
has changed profoundly since 1919 from flaming idealism to 
calculated scheming, and the most savage reprisals are directed 
against any comrades who deviate from the bossed Party line. 

By the time of the Hitler-Stalin pact in 1939, the representa- 
tives of the Comintern were so universally hated and distrusted 
by most idealists in the, west that the sudden switch to Hitler was 
considered only a final proof of moral degradation. Distinguished 
independent socialists like Ignazio <Silone of Italy had withdrawn 
from the Executive, and those who remained were rubber stamps 
for Stalin. The Comintern in the crisis of 1 939 and later in its 
support of Russian aggression revealed that it was just as amoral 
as fascism. 

When the Soviet Union was forced into the war on the Allied 
side by Hitler's invasion of Russia, Stalin realized that the western 


fears of the Comintern were a handicap to Russia. He abruptly 
abolished the international organization in May 1943, the year of 
the battle of Stalingrad, and announced a policy of co-operation 
with other nations. This action, said Stalin, "puts an end to the 
lie" that "Moscow allegedly intends to intervene in the life of 
other nations to 'Bolshevize' them." 21 Moscow's western allies 
received the announcement with cheers, but those who were 
familiar with Communist history did not take Stalin's pronounce- 
ment at its face value. They suspected that he would shift with 
the political winds when some new opportunity for intrigue was 
offered. In fact, in 1 945, as soon as Allied victory seemed certain, 
the new co-operative attitude of Stalin evaporated. In the 1 945 
edition of The History of the USSR used in Russian schools, the 
death of the Comintern was recorded briefly; in 1946 the descrip- 
tion of the obsequies was entirely omitted. 

The world was not surprised when Stalin launched a new world 
Communist agency under the auspices of the Politburo in Oc- 
tober 1947, after a secret meeting in Poland of the representatives 
of nine European Communist parties. It was dubbed the Com- 
munist Information Bureau, and the title was promptly abbre- 
viated to Cominform. The press of the world made earnest at- 
tempts to find out the basic facts about the new organization, 
but discovered very little, and to this day the life of the Comin- 
form is a veiled mystery. The Communists allege that the Comin- 
form is not a successor to the old Comintern,, but a new, purely 
informational Communist co-operative. It publishes a magazine 
in many languages under the lengthy and non-euphonious title 
For a Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy, and the master 
edition is, appropriately enough, printed in Russian. The maga- 
zine started to function in Belgrade, but when Tito began to show 
some signs of independence, the headquarters were promptly 
moved to Bucharest. 

This new Communist international reveals in striking fashion 
the sorry decline of world Communism as an independent, inter- 
national movement with pretensions of social idealism. The Com- 
inform is little more than a transmission belt for Politburo propa- 
ganda and orders, and if it is accorded any respect in political 
circles, the respect is due not to its own accomplishments but to 
the backing of Russia's armed forces. Intellectually it has reached 


a new low in docility, and its remaining representatives include 
only those leaders who have surrendered every vestige of intellec- 
tual integrity to Moscow. Most of its leaders, in fact, are devotees 
who have spent years in special training institutions in the Russian 
capital. The Cominform rarely bothers to meet, and makes no 
attempt to represent its constituent movements fairly. Although 
it is officially supposed to be nothing but an editorial board for a 
Communist magazine, it steps out of that role at will to perform 
any emergency operation desired by Stalin. In June 1948 it ex- 
communicated Yugoslavia's Tito from the Communist com- 
munion because he had dared to defy his political boss. The story 
of that excommunication is too long to tell here, 2 ? but it was 
immensely illuminating in exposing the final degradation of 
democratic principles in the top levels of world Communism. 

The Vatican Structure of Power 

THE VATICAN AND THE KREMLIN are both dictatorships. That 
simple and unpleasant fact, which is as obvious as the sunrise, 
is so consistently avoided by most "responsible" journalists in 
the west that millions of people have never faced it. The two 
dictatorships, of course, have many contrasting features. One 
is very old and the other is very young. One emphasizes the 
goals of the next world, the other of this. One is soft and the 
other is hard. But they are both dictatorships, and no cloudy 
ecclesiastical effusions can quite conceal that basic fact. 

The two dictatorships grew up in different environments and 
in different centuries, and they are the children of contrasting 
inheritances. One absorbed many of its characteristics from the 
Roman Empire, the other from Tsarist Russia. Compared to 
the Kremlin, the Vatican is a mature and almost static institution. 
Its policies and doctrines were crystallized and congealed long 
before the Soviet Union was born. 

Although the Vatican lacks the vitality and the dynamic energy 
of the younger organization, it dominates its subordinate parts 
so completely that it deserves to be called the most unified and 
stable government in the world. It faces no threat of violent 
revolution from within, since dissident priests do not carry guns. 
It is safe from effective internal criticism because it permits no 
opposition clerical party to challenge its major policies. It is 
relatively experienced and guileful because it has had several 
centuries' head start over the Kremlin in learning the arts of dic- 
tatorship. It is serenely confident in its own moral supremacy. 
As Father Aelred Graham has said about the Church in an au- 
thoritative recent symposium, The Teaching of the Catholic 



Church, "She Is the one supra-national force able to integrate a 
civilization fast dissolving in ruins." 1 

Innocent III brought the Papacy to a pinnacle of prestige and 
power about seven hundred years before Lenin moved into the 
Kremlin. It was 363 years ago, in 1588, that Pope Sixtus V 
reorganized the Roman Congregations and built what the En- 
cyclopedia Britannica calls "the foundations of that wonderful 
and silent engine of universal government by which Rome still 
rules the Catholics of every land." 2 

The earliest Christians knew nothing about popes, bishops, 
and ecclesiastical dictatorships. Their communities were ap- 
parently quite simple and democratic, with an emphasis upon 
other-worldly values. Since the Founder of Christianity gave no 
detailed directives to his followers concerning the methods to be 
used in building an organization, the Christian Church grew up 
during the first three centuries after his death in a more or less 
unsystematic manner. StPaul, the missionary, did much to 
transform the simple otEeFworldly religion of the Founder into 
an effective engine of power for this world. St. Peter was also 
important, but nobody'knows exactly how important. It is cer- 
tain that he was not universally recognized by the first Christian 
congregations as the head of the Church. 

Roman Catholic theologians claim that Jesus made Peter the 
first pope, and they claim support for this theory from the famous 
passage in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, part of which is 
carved on the dome of St. Peter's: "And I say unto thee, thou art 
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of 
hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of 
the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth 
shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on 
earth shall be loosed in heaven." 

What does this famous passage mean? It occurs in only one of 
the four gospels, and many authorities believe that it is an in- 
terpolation. 3 Certainly it is not consistent with the passage which 
immediately follows it, and there is nothing else in the teachings 
of Jesus to indicate that he gave Peter any exclusive rank among 
his disciples. Two chapters later in the Gospel of Matthew he 
makes the same general grant of power to all his disciples. 

Whatever may be the truth of the conflicting views of theo- 


logians about this passage in Matthew, it is clear that the words 
of Jesus are broadly symbolic and not definite. His statement 

does not mention Rome or popes or bishops or any ecclesiastical 
machinery of power. It contains no specific sanction for a cen- 
tralized dictatorship or papal infallibility or a Vatican diplomatic 
corps. It has been inflated into a kind of Magna Charta for 
Vatican dictatorship by reading into it a whole library of meaning 
which is not there. 

The first Christians knew nothing about the alleged primacy 
of Roman bishops, and some of the first "popes" of the Roman 
church were buried in the catacombs as simple bishops, without 
any papal inscriptions on their tombs. The idea that Roman 
bishops should be made into popes developed slowly and gradu- 
ally as a result of historical forces and population movements. 
The early church needed some central authority to rule its quar- 
reling factions and to mobilize the clergy for effective work; and 
metropolitan Rome seemed the most logical place for the seat of 
that authority. There is no evidence in the Bible or in other early 
Christian literature that the structure of power which actually 
developed in the Roman Catholic Church ever had any necessary 
connection with Christianity, or that the founders of the first 
churches contemplated anything like the Papacy. 

It has often been said that the real founder of the Roman 
Catholic Church was the Emperor Constantine, who was baptized 
on his deathbed in the year 337. Certainly his conversion changed 
the whole future of the Church. He admitted Christianity to 
the status of an authorized government religion in 313, and one 
of his successors of the fourth century, Theodosius the Great, 
made Christianity the sole official religion of the Empire. Ever 
since then, the practical union of church and state has been one 
of the cardinal tenets of Roman Catholic policy. Trading on 
the advantages of that policy, the Church was gradually trans- 
formed from an informal association of believers into a great 
ecclesiastical empire, patterned in structure after the Roman 
Empire. Later on it became an important temporal power itself, 
and acquired armies, navies, diplomats, and considerable stretches 
of territory. For several centuries it held sway over princes and 
kings, and for several other centuries it was completely dominated 
by princes and kings. 


Pope Gelasius I laid the basis for the modern Catholic theory 
of church and state in the fifth century when he evolved the 
notion that the world is divided into two spheres, one to be con- 
trolled by the Church and the other by the civil power. Accord- 
ing to his theory, both powers derived their authority from God 
Himself, the separation was effected by Christ, and human beings 
must "give to each its due." 4 Gregory VII carried papal claims 
farther in 1075 by explicitly declaring that popes have the right 
to depose emperors; and five years later he gave a demonstration 
by deposing Henry IV and absolving all Henry's followers from 
their oath of allegiance to him on the ground that if popes could 
"bind and loose in heavens, so also they could take away and 
grant kingdoms, principalities, and all other possessions of men, 
according to men's merits." He claimed that "the Pope stood 
to the emperor as the sun to the moon." 5 

Boniface VIII issued in 1302 the boldest and most presumptu- 
ous statement of papal dominion over the world, his encyclical 
Unam Sanctam; but his reign actually marked the beginning of 
papal decline. Claiming at the time of his jubilee in 1300 that 
heVas both a pope and an emperor, he had two swords carried 
in front of himself in his official processions to symbolize this 
dual majesty, with the official contention that "the temporal is 
subject to the spiritual." 6 The Papacy has never yet renounced 
the symbolism of those two swords, since it still claims to be 
both a church and a state. It did not renounce its status as an 
important European temporal and military power until it was 
compelled to do so by force of arms. 

From Coronations to Infallibility 

At the height of papal power, the popes conferred crowns on 
the ruling monarchs of Europe and did much to direct the policies 
of their governments. It was Leo III who crowned Charlemagne 
Emperor of the West not Charlemagne Leo III. Other em- 
perors kept coming to Rome for their coronations for about six 
hundred years. Even Napoleon Bonaparte planned at one time 
to be crowned in St. Peter's, but changed his mind because of a 
dispute with Pius VII. 

In* the slow process of growth and adaptation, it took many 
centuries for the present elaborate structure of Vatican power to 


jell. The "engine of universal government" was not at first either 
silent or wonderful Papal dictatorship was often faced with 
bitter opposition, and sometimes very questionable methods were 
used to sustain it. One of the important factors in establishing 
the temporal power of the Papacy was the famous "Donation of 
Constantine," a document which purported to show that Con- 
stantine had given to the Pope all the provinces of the Western 
Roman Empire. It was circulated for centuries before it was 
finally discovered that somebody had forged it at Rome during 
Charlemagne's time. Even when the Roman bishops were finally 
recognized as leaders of the Church, they had at first very little 
power, and they were not given the undisputed right to choose 
other bishops until the nineteenth century. 

The final totalitarian structure of the Church, the structure 
which exists today, was not perfected until the corruption of 
the Middle Ages had produced the Reformation, and that Re- 
formation had in turn produced a counter-reformation within 
the Church in the direction of more centralized authority. While 
the rest of the world was busy with the great expansion and de- 
velopment of modern liberalism and science, the Papacy, working 
under the influence of the Jesuits, tightened its grip on every 
branch of the Church and stood fast against the tides of modern 
culture. Seminaries and religious orders directly dependent on 
the Papacy expanded into a great network of ecclesiastical power. 
Throughout the world the Jesuits acted as promoters and intelli- 
gence agents of papal absolutism, reporting to the Pope on any 
movement among the clergy that might weaken his authority. 
Laymen were given no power over the papal machine except on 
one occasion, the Council of Constance in 1414, and that was 
because a pope and an anti-pope were quarreling for authority, 
and each of them needed lay support to win the struggle. 

Gradually, authority in the Church became more and more 
centralized, and local independence disappeared. The climax 
came in 1870 when Pius IX, "a kindly man of inferior intelli- 
gence/' 7 had himself declared infallible. That was only the final 
theoretical step in a centrifugal process that had been going on 
for centuries. Strangely enough, the natal year of infallibility, 
1870, was the year when Lenin was born. 

In this whole process of growth and adjustment, there was 


no clear dividing line between the development of the Church 
as a religious institution and the development of the Papacy as a 
worldly sovereignty. Church and state overlapped and fought 
each other and participated in each other's affairs. The frontier 
between them changed from year to year according to the power 
of the reigning pope. The popes played politics with princes and 
traded bishoprics as astutely as a modern baseball magnate trades 
good pitchers and batters. The princes frequently nominated 
the popes and directed their policies, and the popes for centuries 
accepted the right of princes to veto "undesirable" bishops. The 
Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages was exactly what its 
name implies, a church-state empire in which, for at least three 
centuries, the relation of the state to the Papacy was the para- 
mount fact of its existence. The hierarchy patterned its machinery 
of power after that of the Empire, and the divine right of popes 
went hand in hand with the divine right of the political upper 
classes. The Church never ceased to claim dominion over as 
much of the world as it could subdue. 

The Church's chief temporal domain, the Papal States of Italy, 
originated about the eighth century, and ended in 1870 when 
the forces of the new Kingdom of Italy marched into Rome, and 
took over three million subjects from a papal regime which, as 
the Encyclopedia Britannica says, had been "an incompetent 
theocracy with a corrupt administration." The people of Rome 
in a plebiscite ratified the transfer of their city to the new Italy 
by a vote of almost 9 to 1. In 1929 the Vatican got back 108 
acres of its former power and glory in the form of the new Vatican 
City State. 

I have taken this brief canter through Church history in order 
to point up one judgment, that the Catholic dictatorship of the 
twentieth century is only a natural and logical consequence of 
the Church's growth in a pre-democratic mold. The Papacy rose 
to its present pinnacle of centralized autocracy from a back- 
ground of imperialism and serfdom, and it has never completely 
shaken off its. imperial and feudal past. In the very nature of 
things it could not be expected to shake off its past. Born in an 
era when the rights of free peoples were almost unknown in the 
world, it has never talked the modern language of freedom or 
adjusted its government to the ideals of freedom. Jts culture 


has always been a strictly controlled, anti-democratic, and au- 
thoritarian culture. It has accumulated over the centuries a mass 
of anti-scientific and anti-social traditions which have been per- 
petuated largely by tradition and inertia. If we are inclined to 
be harsh in judging the Church for continuing to cherish these 
traditions, we must remember that it has come to us from an 
age when democratic values were almost unknown. 

The Blueprint of Power 

The Vatican structure of power is a pyramid with a very thin 
peak, where the Pope is perched in a position of such grandeur 
and isolation that he is qualitatively detached from the rest of 
the machinery of power. He is so far above Ms subordinates 
that he is more like a public image & human being. 

Directly under him are fifty to c^cunals of the College 

of Cardinals there have been rumors for several years that 
the quota will be raised to one hundred. The cardinals hail from 
many different nations, but they do not represent the Catholic 
people of those nations, since they are chosen entirely from above 
in accordance with standards of performance determined by the 

Under them come the twelve Congregations, three Tribunals, 
and five Offices of the Roman Curia, which are really bureaus, 
boards, and courts organized to carry out the administrative and 
judicial program of the Church. They are made up of cardinals 
and lesser prelates who operate at the central headquarters of the 
Church in Vatican City, or in separate buildings in Rome that 
have acquired a kind of extra-territorial status. Their top per- 
sonnel are appointed and controlled entirely by the Pope, and 
the public rarely hears of them. 

The top Congregation is that of the Holy Office. It determines 
doctrine, condemns books, punishes heresy, frames marital and 
medical policy, and grants certain kinds of dispensations. The 
Congregation of the Consistory creates new dioceses, examines 
the reports of the bishops throughout the world, and proposes 
new bishops for appointment by the Pope. The Congregation 
of the Oriental Church supervises the churches of the Eastern 
rite. The Congregation of the Sacraments regulates matters of 
discipline concerning the seven sacraments, and includes in its 


work such matters as declaring children legitimate or illegitimate. 

The Congregation of the Council supervises the discipline of 
secular priests and laymen. The Congregation of the Religious 
supervises all the Religious orders of the world; the Congrega- 
tion of the Propagation of the Faith manages the missions; the 
Congregation of Sacred Rites supervises rites, canonizations, 
relics, and liturgy in the Latin church; the Congregation of Cere- 
monies regulates ceremonies and protocol in the Vatican Court; 
the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs handles 
special matters of great diplomatic importance, such as con- 
cordats; the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities super- 
vises all Catholic universities and seminaries in the world; the 
Congregation of the Basilica of St. Peter is not really a Congre- 
gation but a local management committee. 

All of these Congregations include staff members and asso- 
ciates who are not cardinals, but the policy decisions are made 
by the cardinals alone. The whole power of the system comes 
from the top down. Under the cardinals come the bishops and 
archbishops who rule the dioceses scattered throughout the world. 
They are appointed directly by the Pope, on recommendation of 
the Congregation of the Consistory, but the Pope is under no 
obligation to follow any recommendation if he wishes to make a 
personal appointment. 

Below these high dignitaries are the priests and nuns and 
brothers who do the basic routine work of the Church throughout 
the world. They minister to the sick and comfort the dying and 
preach brotherhood from the jungles of Africa to the wilds of 
Labrador, but their selfless service does not necessarily make 
them citizens in their own commonwealth. They are completely 
disfranchised on all major matters of policy, and must accept 
the rule of their bishops or the heads of their religious orders. 

At the bottom of the pyramid are perhaps 350,000,000 bap- 
tized Catholics throughout the world who have professed al- 
legiance to the Holy See at some time in their lives. Even more 
than the priests, they are utterly subordinate in the Catholic 
system of power. They have no representatives of their own 
choosing in the central administrative machine, and no plenary 
popular assembly. Their organizations for propaganda and 
social activity have no right to participate in the making of policy, 


and they do not even own the church buildings which they 
pay for. 

The Pope is the absolute monarch of this whole structure. 
Elected for life by a committee of princes, the cardinals, he has 
exclusive power to appoint new princes as vacancies occur, and 
the princes have no power to discipline him or to remove him 
after they have once elected him. They can, of course, attempt 
to correct him or dissuade him from some unwise course of 
action, but he is never compelled to accept their advice or to 
submit his policies to any assembly, elected or appointed. His 
powers are nominally limited by canon law, but if he chooses to 
be arbitrary he can remake canon law without calling any Gen- 
eral Council of the higher clergy. In any case, his will is supreme 
over all General Councils, and no pope has bothered to call a 
session of a General Council in more than eighty years. 

In a sense the Pope operates a limited monarchy in which he 
sets the limits of his own power in consultation with his under- 
lings. He makes no claim at the present time to complete author- 
ity over all the various aspects of the lives of his subjects, but 
he could if he wished extend his power almost indefinitely by 
deciding to define new territory as primarily "moral." His mon- 
archy is not a constitutional monarchy in the strict interpretation 
of those words because the Catholic people do not have any 
constitution protecting them from papal power. They do not 
even have the right to call a meeting to discuss a constitution 
that might set democratic limits to the Pope's authority. Without 
consulting them, the Pope can extend his authority at any moment 
into any new area of medical or political or economic conduct; 
and he has done precisely that during the last century in a number 
of important controversies. He may create a new rule against 
artificial insemination or a new doctrine condemning socialized 
medicine or a new stricture against the application of the theory 
of evolution and the Catholic people have no recourse against 
his blunders. 

The theory of the Pope's power is that God has given him a 
divine right to rule the Church, and that the right has come 
down to him from Christ through Peter, as the first bishop of 
Rome, and thence to all succeeding popes. The Catholic theolo- 
gians have some difficulty in explaining how this authority has 


come down unsullied through the ages without being lost in the 
shuffle. Several popes in the fourteenth century never came near 
Rome, but set up their luxurious quarters in Avignon, and during 
the Great Schism (1378-1417), a rump College of Cardinals 
backed a series of "anti-popes" with the support of a large part 
of Catholic Europe. 

Catholic theologians never admit that any pope has ever made 
a mistake in- declaring the wrong doctrine true, or vice versa. By 
definition, a pope cannot make a mistake in matters of faith and 
morals when he speaks on such matters with due solemnity as 
pastor of the human race. This argument protects the Pope 
against all criticism. When, for example, Pope Pius IX said in 
1870 that all popes are infallible in matters of faith and morals, 
he was himself infallible in saying this, and his judgment was 
retroactive. So, it became a dogma of divine truth that all 
popes in all ages have always been infallible in making solemn 
declarations on matters of faith and morals. 

This circular type of reasoning is remarkably effective in re- 
pelling any attack. Unfortunately, it is a little like the Chinese 
system of ancestor worship. It consecrates not only all the vir- 
tues but also all the mistakes of the past. 

The fact that some of the popes of the Middle Ages were 
notorious political spoilsmen and personal sinners, even in the 
eyes of Catholic historians, does not in any way affect their 
infallibility. "The Pope," runs the approved doctrine, "is in- 
fallible but not impeccable." An impeccable person is one who 
possesses "the impossibility of offending God." 8 Not many people 
in history, even popes, have ever attained this condition of abso- 
lute moral sublimity. Hence, a pope may offend God by his ras- 
cality, but still be incapable of error when he speaks as pastor 
of the human race. 

The Biblical peg on which Catholic scholars hang the whole 
theory of papal power is the verse in Matthew 1 6 which I have 
already quoted: "Thou art Peter . . ." Catholic theologians 
also use, together with this passage in Matthew, certain state- 
ments of early Church fathers such as Clement of Rome, Igna- 
tius of Antioch, Irenaeus, Caius, Tertullian, and Origen, all cal- 
culated to strengthen the tradition that Peter preached in Rome 
and was buried there after being crucified head downward. On 


the whole, these passages from early Christian writers strengthen 
the tradition that Peter visited Rome, but they do not prove 
much, since they do not provide specific information about the 
claims of the Roman Church to unique authority. 9 

The Role of the Pope 

In these days a pope is much more than a doctor of the Church; 
he is also an ecclesiastical business man, a master of ceremonies, 
and a diplomat. He need not be a good preacher, but he must 
be a shrewd tactician and capable manager of men. He must 
take care of a vast, polyglot army of ambitious cardinals, arch- 
bishops, and bishops. He must spend a great deal of each day 
as a kind of ecclesiastical showpiece, going through repetitive 
ceremonies for the faithful. He must deal with Catholic and non- 
Catholic statesmen in advancing the Vatican program in world 

In all of these activities the Pope's role as pastor and prophet 
is quite secondary. His actual output of sermons and doctrinal 
discussions does not need to be large, and his thought does not 
need to be original. In fact, since he must conform to the in- 
fallible utterances of his infallible predecessors, he must avoid 
the appearance of originality as a plague. He has a great staff 
of assistants to do his detailed work for him, and a world-wide 
intelligence service to keep him informed on matters of political 
policy. His work load is enormous, but it is the work load of a 
diplomat and administrator, not of a pastor of souls. 

The present Pope, Pius XII, embodies remarkably well the 
new conception of papal power in the modern world. He pos- 
sesses, as the Little Italian Catholic Annual says, "a powerful 
harmony and a rare equilibrium." He is a distinguished leader 
of considerable charm and dignity, an Italian patrician who 
moves about easily with people of wide culture. But he has 
never been the full-time pastor of a church, and he has never 
served as an ordinary parish priest. He is an ecclesiastical diplo- 
mat groomed from childhood for success as an ' ecclesiastical 
diplomat. 10 He went directly from the closed Catholic educa- 
tional system into the office of the Vatican's Secretariat of State, 
and worked his way up as a political negotiator, Nuncio, Secre- 
tary of State, and finally Pope. His encyclicals reflect his origin 


and outlook. They are narrowly denominational and wholly tra- 

The Pope's supervision over his bishops is necessarily super- 
ficial. No human being could possibly remember all of these 
bishops and guide them personally. He must rely for their selec- 
tion chiefly on the recommendations of the Congregation of the 
Consistory, and the members of this Congregation must in turn 
rely chiefly on the recommendations of local bishops. The Pope, 
of course, can intervene in any diocese in the world when a policy 
problem arises, and remove or promote any bishop at will. This 
power affects the whole operation of the church profoundly and 
makes it impossible for any anti-papal party to arise to challenge 
any policy. 

Once every five years every bishop in the world must make 
the long trek to Rome to visit the Holy Father personally and 
offer homage at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. He must 
submit a detailed report of his affairs in Latin, "neatly written 
on opaque paper," and somebody in the Vatican must read these 
reports so that the Pope will appear to be all-wise and sagacious 
when he interviews each bishop. To save the Pope from a log- 
jam of visits and reports, the ad limina visits of the bishops are 
staggered on a regional calendar from Italy one year, from 
the Americas another year, and so on. 

The total supervision of the Vatican over its scattered outposts 
is phenomenally effective, and the bishops feel that they are 
working under an all-seeing eye. "Even the private life of a 
bishop is subject to supervision," says Joseph Bernhart in his 
comprehensive survey The Vatican as a World Power. "Even 
the lower prelates and pastors are subject to the direct scrutiny 
of Rome." 11 

This great papal power machine is as overwhelmingly Italian 
as the power machine of the Cominform is Russian. It is true 
that at this writing the College of Cardinals has a non-Italian 
majority, but this fact does not mean much because the central 
organization which operates Vatican machinery day by day is 
almost wholly Italian. There is only one non-Italian cardinal 
who is a resident member of the Curia. The foreign cardinals 
are nominal members of important Congregations, but they ap- 
pear at central headquarters very infrequently; the day-by-day 


decisions are made by Italians, and the operating language of 
the Vatican is Italian. The Vatican has had no non-Italian pope 
for more than four hundred years. 

The Vatican as an Empire 

We shall see later that the Pope has become an institutional 
figure with qualities quite apart from his physical personality. 
He has become a synthetic god whose semi-mythical qualities 
resemble the qualities conferred on Stalin by Communist propa- 

In one respect, however, the Pope's supremacy is quite authen- 
tic and unique. His status is written into Catholic law in such a 
way that no Catholic has the right to question him. Other 
dictators of the modern world find it necessary to base their 
power on some kind of popular sanction or democratic choice; 
the Pope has no need of such fictions. He rules with calm re- 
liance on his divine right, and he makes no attempt to disguise 
the undemocratic nature of his sovereignty. His cardinals are 
princes of the monarchy not only in name but also in fact. 
Under the Italian Law of Papal Guarantees of 1871, and under 
Article 21 of the 1929 treaty between Mussolini and the Vatican, 
cardinals have been granted, while in Italy, honors accorded 
princes of the blood. 

On the top level of the Vatican system, the dynamics of power 
coincide completely with the structure of power. The real ruler 
is the nominal ruler, and the Catholic handbooks are quite cor- 
rect in describing Pius XII as "Gloriously Reigning.'* No one 
else approaches him in dignity or power, and no one has the 
right to challenge his authority. The Vatican, on the whole, 
rules its imperial territory with complete success. Naturally, in 
the lower reaches of such a vast and complex system a certain 
amount of dry rot creeps in because of the entirely undemocratic 
system of appointments. But the clerical abuses of the earlier 
days have gradually been reduced, and the Vatican machine 
continues to be a quite remarkable engine of power. 

In terms of political theory the Pope's sovereignty is a special 
limited imperialism, operating within each nation as a govern- 
ment outside the government, differing in several respects from 
the standard imperialist techniques of such empires as the British, 


French, and Dutch. In the operation of European geographical 
imperialisms, the central imperial government decides for itself 
how much authority shall be granted to each one of its colonial 
peoples. Usually it controls all foreign relations, armaments, and 
tariffs, and leaves such matters as land taxation and traffic regu- 
lation to local colonial bodies. 

In the papal variety of imperialism, the Vatican likewise de- 
termines what areas of life shall be controlled by the Church, 
and then the leaders of the Church lay down rules for the conduct 
of all Catholics within all nations in respect to those particular 
areas of activity. The Catholic colony in each country is not 
an independent nation but an imperial segment obedient to the 
Vatican in a strictly limited sphere. The Vatican, in attempting 
to control this imperial segment, does not challenge the authority 
of national governments in such matters as war and the preserva- 
tion of public order that is why Catholics are good patriots 
in both fascist and democratic countries in time of war and in 
time of peace but it does assert explicit supremacy over all 
Catholics in all nations in matters of education, marriage, re- 
ligion, censorship, and general morals. 

Although the Vatican does not claim control over military and 
criminal policies even in Catholic nations, it is very insistent on 
one point The Church and the Church alone has the right to 
determine what areas the Church shall control. Such a decision, 
the Church maintains, can never be made by a democratic or by 
any other kind of civil government. As the Catholic Almanac 
puts it, "the State, as a creature of God, cannot determine the 
extent of its power but must accept the limitations imposed by 
God." 12 In practice, the "God" in this rule means God's repre- 
sentative on earth, the Pope. 

The new revised edition of the Church's Baltimore Catechism, 
the most authoritative catechism for American Catholics, says 
that a government may not prohibit the Church from "legislating 
in all those matters that pertain to the worship of God and the 
salvation of souls. If a government commands citizens to violate 
the law of God they must refuse to obey, for, according to Saint 
Luke, 'We must obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29)." 13 
The Catholic Encyclopedia states the theory of Catholic imperial- 
ism in another way: "The definition of an unchangeable dogma 


imposes itself on every Catholic, learned or otherwise, and it 
necessarily supposes a Church legislating for all the faithful, 
passing judgment on State action from its own point of view 
of course and that even seeks alliance with the civil power 
to carry on the work of the Apostolate." 14 

In one other respect papal imperialism differs from standard 
imperialism in theory. The jurisdiction of the British, French, 
and Dutch empires can be accurately delimited because power is 
contained within geographical boundaries. The geographical 
boundaries of the Vatican's power are never clearly defined be- 
cause authority moves with the Catholic population inside all 
geographical units. Catholics do not live in Catholic reservations. 
Papal power searches them out wherever they live. In this re- 
spect, Vatican imperialism resembles Soviet imperialism. 

There is no written constitution of Catholic power, or any 
bill of rights, as there is for the people of the United States,^ but 
there are many papal constitutions and there is the general code 
of canon law. On the whole, constitutions and canon laws are 
rules for governing and guiding the Catholic people, or explana- 
tions of doctrine, not affirmations of rights of the Catholic people. 
The Catholic .Encyclopedia defines papal constitutions as "ordi- 
nations issued by the Roman Pontiffs and binding those for whom 
they are issued, whether they be for the faithful or for special 
classes or individuals. ... In fact, a papal constitution is a 
legal enactment of the ruler of the Church, just as a civil law 
is a decree emanating from a secular prince." 15 And the Catholic 
Encyclopedia goes on to point out that no acceptance by the 
Church is necessary for a papal constitution. It just is. 

The binding force of pontifical constitutions, even without the ac- 
ceptance of the Church, is beyond question. The primacy of jurisdiction 
by the successor of Peter comes immediately and directly from Christ. 
That this includes the power of making obligatory laws is evident. . . . 
Bishops, therefore, are not at liberty to accept or refuse papal enactments 
because, in their judgment, they are ill-suited to the times. Still less can 
the lower clergy or the civil power possess any authority to declare consti- 
tutions invalid or prevent their due promulgation. 

The Church theoretically has a legislative body, the General 
Council of the higher clergy, but these General Councils have 
been practically abandoned, with one exception, for four hundred 


years. Even in the days when they were held, they were far from 
being democratic in their composition. With the exception of 
the Council of Constance, they were composed of the higher 
clergy without any lay representation. The Vatican Council of 
1870, at which the Pope was declared infallible, is still nominally 
adjourned, living, apparently, in perpetual hibernation. 

If the General Councils are ever resurrected in the future to 
give the Vatican some appearance of democratic procedure, the 
Catholic bishops will be confronted by a bizarre rule which makes 
it virtually impossible for them to disagree with the Pope, a rule 
which was summarized by Father Aelred Graham recently in 
the standard work, The Teaching of the Catholic Church. He 
said: "In the event of discussion arising, the final judgment lies 
with that portion of the Council adhering to the Roman Pontiff, 
since he is the head of the Church and protected from error by 
the gift of infallibility." 16 This means in practice that one vote 
cast by the Pope is always a "majority." 

When these undemocratic principles are taught in the Catholic 
schools in the United States, there is no attempt to disguise the 
fact that the Vatican is a monarchy, but it is emphasized that 
there is some democracy in the scheme of control because the 
humblest man may become Pope. 

The Exposition of Christian Doctrine of the Brothers of the 
Christian Schools once tried to explain away the imperialism of 
the Church in plausible words for American students in an early 
textbook. It offered the following questions and answers under 
the heading "Form of Government in the Church": 

From what has preceded, what may we infer to be the form of govern- 
ment in the Church? 

It is the monarchical form, pure and simple, for the Pope possesses the 
plenitude of authority; he is the ecclesiastical heart and head of the whole 

Why is this monarchy not absolute, in the common meaning of the 

Because the Pope can make no change in matters of divine right; be- 
sides his infallibility preserves him from doing so. 

What aristocracy is there in the government of the Church? 

The episcopate, which is of divine institution and without which the 
supreme pastor cannot govern the Church. 

In what sense is there democracy in the Church? 

In this, that even the man of humblest origin may attain to the highest 


of dignities in the Church. Among the great popes and bishops are some 
who were of very lowly birth and condition. 17 

The American Catholic theologians who drew up this cate- 
chism for American students knew that absolute monarchies 
were very unpopular in the United States, so they attempted to 
work out a formula which would describe the Pope as something 
less than an absolute monarch. According to their claim, the 
Pope has no power to change divine laws. Technically that is 
correct the institution of divine law is bigger than any man. 
But who will tell the Pope which laws are divine? Scripture and 
tradition, of course, but the Pope has power to create a new "tra- 
dition," and no one on earth can tell him it is not a tradition. 
Hence, if the Pope makes a change in the divine law, it may 
appear to be a change in the divine law, but actually it is not, 
because, if it were, the Pope would recognize it and refuse to 
make it. Is this clear? If not, that is the fault of the good priests 
who were trying to reconcile infallibility with freedom of choice. 
They were trying to allow for the phenomenon of change in an 
"unchanging" system of thought. 

In actual practice, change is permitted in the Catholic system 
of thought by calling it something else. A new doctrine is called 
a "reinterpretation," and it does not offer any great difficulties 
in the Catholic system of power because the same man makes and 
judges the new doctrine. There is no tribunal in the Catholic 
system for appraising the pronouncements of the Pope in the 
way our Supreme Court interprets our laws. 

Law by Fiat 

There is also no legislative assembly of the Catholic people, 
and all ecclesiastical law is, therefore, law by fiat. Some of it is 
doctrinal and some of it is disciplinary; some of it is given to the 
world in bulls and encyclicals, and some of it in the more formal 
provisions of canon law. But it is all papal law, not people's law. 

Pius IX announced papal supremacy to his followers and the 
world in his Pastor Aeternus in 1870, and this "constitution" is 
now considered the charter of modern papal power. It is a 
declaration rather than a constitution, and it embodies no de- 
tailed regulations. It simply announces papal infallibility as an 
accomplished fact, pronounces anathema upon any person who 


questions "the plenitude of this supreme power," and says: "We 
teach and declare that the Roman Church by divine institution 
has the supremacy of ordinary power over all the other churches 
and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, truly 
episcopal, is immediate; that the pastors and the faithful, as well 
separately as collectively, whatever their rite and rank, are sub- 
jected to him by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true 
obedience, not only in matters that concern faith and morals, 
but also in those that pertain to the discipline and government 
of the Church spread throughout the world." 18 

This infallible utterance of Pius IX has been supplemented by 
statements of other popes, extending the papal power into many 
areas of economic and social life, so that today there is almost 
no segment of the life of the Catholic people which can be safely 
and surely described as lying outside the domain of the Pope's 
authority. Pius XI in his 1931 encyclical, Reconstructing the 
Social Order, protested that it would be wrong for the Church 
to interfere in "earthly concerns"; but he went on to say of the 
Church that "she can never relinquish her God-given task of 
interposing her authority, not indeed in technical matters, for 
which she has neither the equipment nor the mission, but in all 
those that have a bearing on moral conduct." 19 

And what matters do not have a bearing upon moral conduct? 
Pius XI specifically indicates that all social and economic prob- 
lems have such a bearing, and declares that "we lay down the 
principle . . . that it is Our right and Our duty to deal authori- 
tatively with social and economic problems." In this same en- 
cyclical he delivers sweeping judgments for the guidance of the 
faithful on such diverse matters as socialism, economic competi- 
tion, fascist labor organizations, and employers' associations. 

It is such sweeping judgments as these that have led one author- 
ity to declare that "the universal direct jurisdiction claimed by 
the Church in the realm of morals in which papal decrees are 
infallible, can be extended to cover all human actions, all institu- 
tions, and all aspects of social, economic and political activities 
of any community." 20 

The full scope of papal authority can best be appreciated by 
reviewing the Church's 2414 canons which were finally codified 
into a Codex under Benedict XV in 1917. From the point of 


view of American democracy, many of the canons are incredibly 
restrictive upon the liberty of Catholic citizens. I shall discuss 
some of those restrictions later. The Code claims superiority 
over American law in many particulars, and in some respects 
the Vatican is more open and frank in its claims than the Krem- 
lin. The Code, for example, as it is presented and annotated in 
a standard work like Bouscaren and Ellis' Canon Law, directs 
American Catholic parents to keep their children out of public 
schools whenever possible (Canon 1374); declares the marriage 
of Catholics by American officials entirely invalid (Canon 1 094) ; 
and makes it compulsory for every Catholic legislator in the 
United States to oppose liberalizing divorce laws (Canon 1118). 
We shall discuss some of these encroachments on democracy in 
more detail when we compare the techniques of the Kremlin and 
the Vatican in penetrating non-Communist and non-Catholic 

The Vatican claims that its canons do not interfere with the 
laws of states because church laws are religious in nature while 
the laws of civil governments are confined to "the things that 
are Caesar's." This conclusion is reached by assuming an en- 
tirely unreal division between civil and religious authority. The 
Vatican, according to Catholic theory, has a primary and divine 
right of control over all matters of religion, morals, censorship, 
education, and domestic affairs. The rights of democracy over 
these areas begin where the Vatican authority ends. Hence, there 
can be no conflict between Vatican and temporal authority. ^ 

This ecclesiastical word-juggling, as we shall see, is quite 
similar to that used by Communist dialecticians when they argue 
that there is no conflict between Communism and democracy. 
Of course there can be no conflict if one party to the dispute has 
the absolute right to determine the frontiers of authority. The 
Vatican claims such an absolute right. In practice it operates 
its own establishments on American soil as extra-territorial en- 
terprises, and then declares that they do not encroach on Ameri- 
can sovereignty because they exist under an entirely independent 
religious sovereignty. 

Since judicial power is an attribute of sovereignty, the Vatican 
has its own ecclesiastical courts with appointed judges who are 
priests. Laymen may act as lawyers in Catholic courts, but the 


priests make the laws and sit on the bench. These courts are 
organized not only in Catholic countries but in non-Catholic 
countries as well, on the theory that Catholics in every nation 
should obey their rulings. The best-known Catholic ecclesiastical 
courts are the Roman Rota, which has general jurisdiction; the 
Sacred Penitentiary, which has only spiritual jurisdiction and 
which handles questions involving the use and abuse of in- 
dulgences; and the Apostolic Signature, which handles certain 
kinds of appeals. 

The Catholic judicial theory is that Catholic Church courts, 
by divine right, reach down into every nation in the world where 
there are Catholics and act for them as arbiters in all such matters 
as separations, annulments, and the crimes of priests. American 
law, of course, does not recognize the coercive power of the 
Church and does not enforce its decrees; but the Vatican insists 
that American Catholics recognize these courts anyway. It is 
a mortal sin for an American Catholic willfully to defy the ruling 
of a Catholic court even when he acts in accordance with the 
dictates of an American court. The best illustration of this prin- 
ciple is the continued clash between Catholic courts and Ameri- 
can courts on matters of divorce. No Catholic court is permitted 
to recognize an American divorce as morally valid for Catholics. 

One reason for the continued maintenance of these separate 
Catholic courts is that in Catholic countries they are recognized 
as having certain coercive powers, and they are given supreme 
authority over all Catholics in matters pertaining to domestic re- 
lations, marriage, and inheritance. This recognition of the power 
of Catholic courts is frequently written into the constitutions of 
Catholic countries, and in some cases, such as Italy and Portugal, 
the recognition is embodied in formal treaties between the govern- 
ments and the Vatican. Under such treaties, and under Canons 
120 and 2341, priests and nuns are exempt from trial or suit in 
ordinary democratic courts, and any Catholic who brings them 
into court is subject to excommunication. 

Priests may serve as judges, but in practice they have little more 
power than laymen unless they conform to the orders of their 
bishops. Their appointments, their dismissals, and their promo- 
tions all come from above. When they sit down together in a 
diocesan synod or council, they are prohibited by Canon 362 


from taking any action contrary to any ruling by their bishop. 
Church law says that the bishop is "the sole legislator in the 
synod." Even the bishops themselves are powerless to take any 
position contrary to that of the Vatican. American bishops, 
whose potential power has been regarded with great apprehension 
by Rome for a long time, may not even hold a plenary session 
of their own. They have not been allowed to hold an American 
Church Council since 1884 that was the Third Council of 
Baltimore although Italian bishops are permitted to hold a 
plenary Council every twenty years. 

Perhaps the surprising docility of the American bishops is 
largely explained by their method of appointment. The appoint- 
ing authority is wholly un-American, and even the recommending 
authority, the Congregation of the Consistory, has only one 
American cardinal in seventeen. Before American priests are 
recommended by the Congregation of the Consistory for appoint- 
ment as bishops by the Pope, they are carefully tested for con- 
formity to Roman doctrine and obedience to Roman authority. 
Any tendency to respect American authority in preference to 
Roman authority is a fatal obstacle to promotion. The Vatican 
is as much afraid of national churches as the Kremlin is afraid 
of national Communist movements. 

The Roman system of power is essentially a man's world, as 
well as a priest's world. Catholic Religious women do most of 
the routine work of teaching, nursing, and social service in the 
Church, but all the central agencies of power in the Vatican are 
without exception male. Even when a woman is made into a 
saint at St. Peter's, the long procession of dignitaries, headed by 
the Pope on his portable throne, contains not a single representa- 
tive of the sanctified sex. There was a strange touch of irony in 
the fact that when the Catholic party of Italy won the 1948 elec- 
tion from a powerful left-wing bloc, the margin of victory was 
partly supplied by cloistered nuns who were directed by the Vati- 
can to leave their cloisters for the first time to cast their votes 
against the Kremlin. Communism, by threatening to destroy the 
Vatican, gave Catholic women a new standing as citizens in the 
Italian commonwealth which they had never possessed under 
male domination in their own religious commonwealth. 

This failure to grant citizenship rights to the Religious women 


who do the basic work of the Church is typical of the whole 
Catholic system of power. In that system the little people have 
no rights, only privileges, and the hierarchy confers the privi- 
leges. Nevertheless, millions of little people continue in devoted 
loyalty because, for them, subjection is God's will. Peasants, 
nuns, brothers, slum-dwellers, mystics, monks, illiterates, priests, 
dreamers find in the Catholic approach to life a comfort and an 
inspiration. Their faith is the primary source of Vatican strength. 
They believe in the Church because for them it symbolizes purity, 
integrity, sacrifice, and, above all, changeless values in a changing 

The Devices of Deification 

SINCE THE RISE OF DICTATORS, the manufacture of gods has be- 
come a major political industry. Modern totalitarian rulers have 
learned to exploit man's hunger for objects of veneration as it has 
never been exploited before. Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Ger- 
many, and Stalin in the Soviet Union have been exalted into minor 
deities by techniques of pageantry, publicity, and display that 
are quite unparalleled in history. The dictators have learned 
to make effective use of all the gadgets of the machine age in 
deifying themselves. Their egotism has been served effectively 
by the loudspeaker, the radio, the motion picture, the kleig light, 
and television. Today the deification of a leader is recognized as 
part of the necessary machinery of power in a totalitarian society. 
George Orwell has immortalized the process in his 1984. 

One interesting result of this new exploitation of the devices 
of deification has been to eliminate the traditional distinction 
between political and religious glory. In totalitarian societies it 
is impossible to tell where political hero-worship ends and reli- 
gious devotion begins. Totalitarian statecraft has gone over into 
the field of religion and borrowed some of its most exalted 
images for political propaganda. Nationalism has become a faith 
competing with orthodoxy. National devotion has developed its 
own fanatical prophets and scriptures. Fascism and Communism 
have tried to supplant Christianity not only as systems of truth 
but also as systems of moral control. Now the devices of religion 
are used so openly by Communism that the Communist move- 
ment is generally recognized as a competing sect, challenging 
all the old gods and offering its followers alternative objects of 



In the light of these developments, a comparative description 
of Vatican and Kremlin devices of deification is in order. Both 
institutions have developed the most elaborate publicity machines 
for stimulating in their followers extreme admiration for their 
two chieftains. It is difficult to say which institution is the more 
expert in this development, but my own feeling is that the Pope 
is the champion in this field. Certainly the Vatican is more 
systematic in its program of deification than any other organiza- 
tion in the world, and its devices have acquired the strength and 
solidity of ancient traditions. They are accepted today as an 
organic part of the Catholic faith because they have been asso- 
ciated for centuries with the worship of God and because the 
Pope is God's Vicar on earth. 

The years 1949 and 1950 afforded a unique opportunity for 
contrasting the techniques of adoration developed by the Vatican 
and by the Kremlin. Stalin's seventieth birthday, on December 
21, 1949, almost coincided with the opening of the Holy Year 
by Pius XII. In a sense the two leaders staged in December 1949 
competing festivals of adulation in which they were the compet- 
ing objects of honor. Both festivals were prodigiously successful 
for their own people. Perhaps Stalin's celebration was a little 
more notable than that of the Pope because the Soviet dictator 
had a completely controlled system of culture and publicity 
throughout his whole empire. From Prague to Vladivostok no 
journalist daxed to suggest the thought that the Russian dictator 
might be anything less than a divinely inspired genius. The 
Vatican promoted a parallel image of the Pope in its own press, 
but, outside of Spain, it had nothing to match the iron control of 
the press in the Soviet orbit 

The Kremlin Trinity 

In the Holy Trinity of the Kremlin theology, Marx stands for 
God, Lenin for Christ, and Stalin for the Holy Ghost. Engels 
is a demi-god, not quite up to these three. The existence of this 
trinitarian deity is never specifically acknowledged in Soviet 
literature^but it is a definite and important part of world Com- 
munism. Stalin, as the surviving member of the Communist 
Trinity, is treated as the Living God. 

He began his rapid ascent to the rarified heights of deification 


in 1920, and since 1929 he has been treated as virtually in- 
fallible. His ascent has been somewhat surprising, for he lacks 
the magnetism and color of prophetic leadership; and he did 
not reveal any sign in his youth that he would someday be the 
world's most powerful single individual. Ponderous and sober, 
rather than brilliant, his method of speech and writing is far 
from inspiring. 1 Throughout his career he has been a hard driver, 
a skillful manipulator of men, a tireless administrator. No one 
has questioned his youthful courage; but in Ms fighting years 
he never became a military hero, and later, at the height of 
World War II, when the fate of the nation hung in the balance 
before Moscow, he never appeared in the front lines to inspire 
his men. 

As a young man he had been trained for a time in the Theo- 
logical Seminary of Tiflis, but that was because the Seminary 
was the chief high school in Georgia, not because he had ever 
had any hankering for the priesthood. His proletarian back- 
ground he was the son of a humble shoemaker his poverty, 
his rugged physical power, and his courage united to make him 
a leader of an entirely different sort from the distinguished, 
middle-class Lenin and the brilliant man of letters, Trotsky, 
Where they led men by virtue of their sheer mental superiority, 
Stalin led men by his mastery of the mechanisms of power. 
Also he had experience, bitter and instructive experience, and 
it seasoned him well. 

While the patrician, Eugenio Pacelli, was mastering diplomacy 
and canon law in the protected clerical circles of his home city, 
and moving upward smoothly toward the papal throne, Josef 
Vissarionovich Djugashvili was daring death and exile in a run- 
ning battle with the Tsarist police, a battle which lasted through- 
out his youth and young manhood. During more than ten years 
he was a hunted animal, changing names and identities, and 
almost miraculously preserving his life while he alternately served 
in the revolutionary underground and labored in Tsarist prison 
camps. For a time he even acted as a kind of master mind for 
the "fighting squads" of Bolshevik robbers who looted banks to 
replenish the Party's depleted treasury. From the age of twenty- 
three to the age of thirty-four he was arrested and imprisoned 
six times, sent into exile six times, and escaped six times. 


In the beginning stages of the revolution, Stalin was a St. 
Paul to Trotsky's St. Peter, a crude and ruthless St. Paul, who 
served as missioner and organizer of the outposts of the Faith. 
Lenin at one time thought he was too rough and tactless to 
serve as Secretary General of the Party. In fact, Lenin's famous 
Testament indicated that he held that view at the time of his 
death, for in the Testament he said: "Stalin is too rude, and this 
fault, entirely supportable in relations among us Communists, 
becomes insupportable in the office of General Secretary. There- 
fore, I propose to the comrades to find a way to remove Stalin 
from that position and appoint to it another man who in all 
respects differs from Stalin only in superiority namely, more 
patient, more loyal, more polite and more attentive to comrades, 
less capricious, etc." 

But Lenin's Testament was suppressed over the bitter protests 
of his widow, and Stalin, three years after Lenin's death, was 
able to turn even this condemnation by the messianic leader into 
grist for his own mill. "I am rude toward those who traitorously 
break their word, who split and destroy the Party," he told a 
Central Committee meeting in 1927. "I have never concealed 
it and I do not conceal it now." 2 Oddly enough, the two men 
who did most to save Stalin's skin by suppressing Lenin's con- 
demnation of him, Zinoviev and Kamenev, were shot for treason 
to Stalin in the great purge of 1936. Stalin, in spite of Lenin's 
words, managed to convey the impression to the Russian masses 
that he was the anointed of the "savior." 

Gradually he moved upward in the ranks of Soviet power 
until he equaled Lenin in popular homage and far surpassed him 
in the extent of his personal authority. With World War II, 
Stalin became virtually a Kremlin godhead, using the words of 
Marx and Lenin to sanctify his authority. Since Marx and Lenin 
were both quite prolific in voicing many opinions on many sides 
of many subjects, it was not difficult for Stalin to pluck the 
appropriate quotations from their works and to use them for 
justifying any policy he wished to advocate. 

While the transformation of Stalin was taking place, Trotsky, 
who had originally shared honors with Lenin, was demoted to 
the role of Bolshevik Satan, exiled, and finally murdered. Trot- 


sky's successor as the favorite devil of Communist propaganda 
is a composite individual of large paunch and ugly fangs, known 
roughly as Mr. Wall-Street-Warmonger. 

The elevation of Karl Marx to the role of socialist divinity 
was not surprising. Although his personal characteristics were 
far from admirable, he created a new system of thought of 
immense timeliness and importance. Even before he died, he 
had become an almost legendary figure throughout Europe. His 
Jove-like head, his fierce solemnity, his profound dissertations 
on the movements of man and the meaning of history, all united 
to lift him above the level of the moral leaders of his age. Yet 
if he had ever led a socialist parliamentary regime and seen it 
collapse under his arrogant rule, a little of the magic of his 
name might have been rubbed off. As it was, he was never 
called upon to fill in completely the details of his own dream. 
He concentrated on diatribes against the sins of capitalism, and 
so much of what he said was true that the deficiencies of his 
analysis were not immediately apparent. Not until the genera- 
tion after his death did socialist leaders recognize the fact that 
he was both a brilliant and a jaundiced philosopher who had 
oversimplified the universe almost as crudely as the religious 
prophets he despised. 

Perhaps Harold Laski overstated the case when he said that 
"no tool at the command of the social philosopher surpasses 
Marxism whether in its power to explain the movement of 
ideas or its authority to predict their practical outcome." But 
there is no doubt that Marx's thinking shook the world of the 
social sciences as profoundly as Darwin's Origin of Species had 
shaken the world of the biological sciences. Marx's philosophy 
was not wholly sound but almost miraculously timely. It gave to 
the social discontent of the nineteenth century a gospel, and to 
the submerged working classes a dream. By the time Lenin 
had made "Marxism" the creed of the October revolution, Marx 
the atheist had already become established as the deity of a new 
world religion. 

Lenin himself fitted into the new religion naturally as son and 
savior. He was a great thinker in his "own right, and a great 
strategist. He was utterly simple in his manner of living, com- 


pletely contemptuous of pomp and ceremony, and supremely 
devoted to the moral ideal of Communist revolution. He hated 
orthodox religion with every atom in Ms being and described it 
as "the thousand-year-old enemy of culture and progress," but 
he occupied a position in the new Russian society that made it 
almost inevitable for him to be deified. He would have resented 
this posthumous deification bitterly if he had lived to see it. 
He wanted to live and die as a realist, scorning all idealizations 
except the one idealization which was the core of his aspiration, 
the Communist society. He regarded popular deities as an abomi- 
nation, and on some occasions he publicly admitted his own 
mistakes in a burst of frankness and modesty not characteristic 
of Stalin. In two letters to Maxim Gorky in 1913 he savagely 
ridiculed the process of "god-building" by pouring into the god- 
complex "those ideas worked out by tribes, nations, by humanity 
at large, which arouse and organize social emotions, and which 
serve to unite the individual with society." For him it was treason 
to socialism to make the concept of god palatable by associating 
it with any ideal of social kindness or humanitarian reform. He 
scorned such maneuvers as "redecorating the idea of god" and 
scolded Gorky, saying: "What you have actually done has been 
to embellish and sweeten the idea of the clericals." 3 

It is one of the supreme ironies of history that Lenin's mummi- 
fied body and Lenin's sacred memory became the containers 
for the very complex of ideas which Gorky had described as god, 
Lenin had expressed a total philosophy for the whole of life, and 
he had embodied that philosophy in a striking and virile per- 
sonality. He filled a national need for a new deity. A disillu- 
sioned nation which had once paid homage to its Little Father, 
the Tsar, quickly transferred its devotion to "the great father of 
the Soviet Revolution," and finally made his marble mausoleum 
in the Red Square of Moscow the holy of holies of Communist 

At the next Congress of the Soviets after Lenin's death, Stalin 
chanted his sacred vow in the name of the revolution: "Departing 
from us, Comrade Lenin bequeathed to us the duty of preserving 
and strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat. We swear 
to thee, Comrade Lenin, that we will not spare our energies in 
also fulfilling with honor this thy commandment!" 4 


Stalin as Deity 

After Lenin's death it did not take Stalin long to move upward 
to a semi-divine status. The Russian people were not told of 
Lenin's detennination to displace Stalin before he died. Pictures 
began to appear in all parts of the Soviet Union placing Stalin 
and Lenin side by side. Always they were flattering pictures, 
and the lithographs of Stalin looked very much like old Orthodox 
icons. He became a new Russian saint, an Olympian legend. 
Within ten years virtually every home, school, store, factory, 
and office in the Soviet Union had blossomed forth with a repre- 
sentation of Stalin as a figure of godlike proportions. Sometimes 
there was a great white bust, sometimes an equally impressive oil 
painting, and there were endless photographs. 

Cities and districts were named for the Leader. The Stalin 
cult of adoration became a recognized part of the national cul- 
ture, and as soon as the Soviet Union expanded its empire east- 
ward and westward after World War n, the cult was developed 
in other countries. The same heroic pictures of Stalin appeared 
in Moscow, Prague, and Peiping. Always the image of the Leader 
was sublimely glorified. Edgar Snow says he counted Stalin's 
name fifty-seven times in one four-page issue of a Moscow daily 
even at the height of the paper shortage in World War IL 5 In 
1950, with paper more plentiful, one issue of Pravda mentioned 
Stalin 91 times on the front page alone: 35 times as Josef Vis- 
sarionovich Stalin; 33 times as Comrade Stalin; 10 times as Great 
Leader; 7 times as Dear and Beloved Stalin; and 6 times as 
Great Stalin. The Yugoslav newspaper which did this bit of 
research into the processes of deification also recorded the fact 
that Stalin is commonly described elsewhere in the Soviet press 
as Great Leader of Mankind; Great Chief of All Workers; Pro- 
tagonist of Our Victories; and Faithful Fighter for the Cause of 
Peace. 6 

While this process of aggrandizement was going on in the 
press, Stalin's public appearances were becoming more rare, and 
more adroitly managed. In recent years he has never appeared 
before the Russian public except in well-arranged theatrical 
settings. His entrances into political congresses have taken on 
the nature of triumphal pageantry. The common people never 
catch a glimpse of him in anything less than an environment of 


glory. He is not obliged to make any campaigns for re-election. 
He is considered too exalted to meet presidents, generals, or 
prime ministers outside of the Russian orbit. The period between 
1920 and 1950 has been dubbed "the Stalin Epoch." The 
Academy of Medical Science of the USSR addressed Stalin as 
"great captain of all victories." Gradually Russian history has 
been largely rewritten to give Stalin a new and glorified position 
in his country's annals. 

When the great French writer, Andre Gide, visited Russia in 
1936, the Stalin cult had already become so entrenched that Gide 
was the victim of a bizarre ruling by a Stalinist bureaucrat. He 
was passing through Stalin's birthplace, the little Georgian town 
of Gori, and tried to send a telegram of greeting to Stalin through 
the government telegraph. The local officer in charge would 
not accept the telegram with its original wording because Gide 
addressed Stalin simply as "you." Gide was forced to address 
the Leader, even in a personal wire, as "You Leader of the 
Workers," or "You Lord of the People." 7 

Stalin's fiftieth birthday in 1 929 was a national orgy of govern- 
ment-directed adulation. By the time of his seventieth birthday 
on December 21, 1949, Cyrus Sulzberger of the New York Times 
declared: "Emphasis is no longer upon either Marx or Lenin. 
It is upon Stalin, and in the name of Stalin the movement assumes 
the label of infallibility." 8 The Albanian People's Assembly* 
under Communist control, voted to erect a statue to "the deity, 
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin." The American Communist Party 
gave Stalin chief credit for winning the war against Hitler, send- 
ing a special birthday message to its Leader in which he was 
conspicuously placed ahead of Lenin: "This victory was possible 
because the multi-national peoples of the USSR are united in 
the bonds of true brotherhood. Victory was guaranteed because 
the Soviet people and their state are guided by the Great Bolshe- 
vik Party built by you and Comrade Lenin, and since Lenin's 
death continuing under your leadership. . . ." 9 

In Moscow, Stalin was called "the greatest military leader of 
all times and nations (stormy and prolonged applause)." The 
Academy of Sciences of the Moscow-dominated Rumanian 
People's Republic announced a symposium to celebrate Stalin's 
seventieth birthday with papers on the following subjects: 


J. V. Stalin Lenin's Perpetuator in Creating the Theory of the Con- 
struction of Socialism 

I. V. Stalin The Theoretician and Leader of the Fight for Peace and 
Brotherhood among the Peoples 

J. V. Stalin The Military Genius of Our Time 

J. V. Stalin As Mirrored in the Literature of the Peoples of the World 

J. V. Stalin The Teacher and Inspired Leader of the World Prole- 

J. V. Stalin Coryphaeus of World Science 

J. V. Stalin The Theoretician and Initiator of the Transformation of 
Nature in the USSR 10 

M. Chiaurelli, writing in Soviet Literature on "The Efflores- 
cence of Soviet Art," added a new talent to Stalin's genius, the 
mastery of art. "Luxuriant has been the efflorescence of the art 
of the Soviet peoples," he said, "an art replete with lofty ideas 
and embodied in striking artistic forms. The paths of develop- 
ment of Soviet art, its advance to the summits of mastery have 
been charted for us by the great Stalin." This was only a routine 
panegyric compared to the general salutation to the Great Leader: 

Father! What could be nearer and dearer than that name? 

Soviet people one and all, from Young Pioneers to hoary-headed an- 
cients, call Stalin "our Father." 

For like a loving, tender father, like a wise mentor and teacher, Stalin 
brings up the generation of the new people, builders of Communism. 

Multiform is the all-compassing power of Stalin's genius. Not a single 
field of the creative endeavors of the Soviet people but has been illumined 
by the rays of his intellect which has pointed the way to the new summits 
of achievement. 

The shoots of all that is new, progressive, beautiful and exalted in our 
life reach out to Stalin as to the sun. Stalin inspires our people and gives 
them wings. Stalin's words, Stalin's kindness and solicitude are a source of 
life-giving strength to millions. 11 

The AU-Union Soviet Book Chamber reported simultaneously 
that Stalin had become the world's most widely read author, with 
539,000,000 copies of his works in print in 101 languages. 
The Kremlin proceeded to boom its favorite author by publish- 
ing two million additional colored posters of him and one million 
personal portraits. Some of the posters read: "Stalin is the 
People's Happiness," "Glory to Dear Stalin." The state publish- 
ing house, according to the New York Times, issued forty-five 
songs about Stalin, and announced that it would soon issue a 
collection of Stalin folk songs, 12 


"Each one of us," exclaimed a writer in Pravda on the occasion 
of Stalin's seventieth birthday, "alone with himself, wants to con- 
fide his innermost thoughts to Stalin, to share both sorrow and 
joys with him, to dream about the future. . . . Stalin gave us 
peace of mind based on wisdom: he welded our thoughts and 
aspirations to the thoughts and aspirations of the people. . . . 
Whenever the great Teacher points out our mistakes and short- 
comings ... we are thankful and grateful for the penetrating 
and constructive advice of the brilliant thinker and scholar." 13 
Odes to Stalin appeared by the hundreds, frequently compar- 
ing the Leader to some object like the sun. Mikhail Isakovsky 

He has brought us strength and glory 

And youth for ages to come. 

The flush of a beautiful dawning 

Across our heaven is flung. 

So let us lift up our voices 

To him who is most beloved. 

A song to the sun and to justice, 

A song that to Stalin is sung. 14 

Actually, Isakovsky's effort was not quite so laudatory as that 
of another poet whose work appeared in Pravda in 1936: 

O Great Stalin, O leader of the peoples, 
Thou who broughtest man to birth, 
Thou who purifiest the earth, 
Thou who restoreth the centuries, 
Thou who makest bloom, the spring, 
Thou who makest vibrate the musical chords, 
Thou splendor of my spring, O Thou 
Sun reflected of millions of hearts. 15 

Apparently no eulogy is too fulsome for Stalin's ears, even 
when it comes from his close associates and subordinates in the 
Politburo. According to G. M. Malenkov, in a long Stalin eulogy 
in Pravda, "the peoples of the Soviet Union and the whole of 
progressive mankind see in the person of Comrade Stalin their 
recognized leader and teacher." L. P. Beria echoed the eulogy, 
and added tactfully: "Comrade Stalin's work is so great and so 
many-sided that many years would be needed to describe it in 
due measure." 16 But it remained for the Young Communist 
League to attain the climax when it advocated falling on good 
Communist knees to kiss Stalin's "holy footprints," Arthur 


Schlesinger, Jr., has quoted the following gem from a 1946 
book published by the Young Communist League, presumably 
describing the ecstasies of its young members when visiting the 
Kremlin: "Stalin! . . . Here in the Kremlin Ms presence touches 
us at every step. We walk on stones which he may have trod 
only quite recently. Let us fall on our knees and kiss those holy 
footprints!" 17 

The attitude of the American press toward this Stalin cult and 
the corresponding cult of the Pope is worth recording. In describ- 
ing the whole ritual of adoration for Stalin on his seventieth 
birthday, the American newspapers were gleefully sardonic. The 
New York Times scorned such elevation of the Generalissimo 
to the stature of a "demi-god" in a manner alien to western 
thought and feeling, and pointed out that such exaltation had 
nothing to do with Communism. "Any totalitarian system," 
said Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, "lives to a large 
degree on the myth that its leaders are infallible." "There is even 
a neat parallel between the deification of Stalin and the deifica- 
tion of the Roman emperors," said Joseph and Stewart Alsop, 
liberal columnists. How carefully all the newspaper writers 
avoided the one most obvious parallel, the parallel between the 
deified Stalin and the one deified leader in the world who officially 
claims infallibility! 

Christian Simplicity to Papal Grandeur 
The devices used by the Vatican to stimulate veneration for 
popes and saints have developed over a span of sixteen centuries. 
In the early days of the Church, there was nothing to parallel 
the present ecclesiastical magnificence of Rome or its centralized 
power. Jesus and his followers lived a simple and frugal life 
without pomp or ceremony, and abjured all the outward manifes- 
tations of ceremonial splendor. During the first three centuries 
of the Church's life, the emphasis of the Church was upon sim- 
plicity and devotion. In fact, the spirit of the Church during that 
period was not wholly unlike the spirit of the first Utopian so- 
cialists who despised the conventional forms of worldly power and 
attempted to realize a dream of economic equality. 

After the Papacy had become a great power it took on the 
grandeur of an imperial court, and the whole attitude of the 


Church toward the personalities of the bishops of Rome changed. 
The popes became royal personages instead of merely supervising 
bishops. They gradually assumed more godlike gestures and 
habiliments. They learned to use religious devotion to increase 
their prestige in both temporal and spiritual realms. 

In spite of the doctrine of infallibility, the Vatican has tried 
to impress the fact upon the world that Catholics do not actually 
worship the Pope. A careful set of theoretical distinctions has 
been drawn up to separate worship, veneration, and honor. It 
is permissible to venerate certain objects but not to worship 
them. 18 It is proper to honor a church leader, venerate a saint, 
particularly the Virgin Mary, and worship the deity with full 
adoration. In theory the grades of veneration, honor, and worship 
are to be carefully distinguished. But in practice the fixations 
of worship cannot be subdivided according to priestly dictates. 
Neither an Andalusian peasant nor a Catholic professor of philos- 
ophy can make a feasible working distinction between limited 
veneration and complete adoration. Admiration, if it becomes 
uncritical enough, grades imperceptibly into worship. 

Regardless of its professions, the whole machinery of the 
Church is geared to exalt the personality of the Pope to the divine 
level. He is considered superior to all earthly criticism, and virtu- 
ally no Catholic ever criticizes him directly. He is, in practice, 
one of the plural gods of the Catholic system of power, and all 
the gods in the system, saints and popes, are skillfully used to 
hold the loyalty of the Catholic people to a great ecclesiastical 
enterprise. The spirit of that enterprise was well expressed by 
Leo XIII in describing himself in his encyclical letter on The 
Reunion of Christendom: "We who hold upon this earth the 
place of God Almighty." 

Any visitor to St. Peter's is impressed with the unabashed 
idolatry of its great religious festivals, and the Pope himself is 
always the central idol of every ecclesiastical display. Ostensibly 
his every act in public ceremonies is a tribute not to his own 
divinity but to the divinity of the God he serves. He is careful 
not to assert his own deity, and he is officially called "slave of 
the slaves of God." But in practice he is himself the god of all 
St. Peter's pageantry, and the Catholic people are the slaves who 
come to worship him as the Church's divine agent on earth. 


Every detail in the vast and complicated system of Catholic cere- 
monials is designed to promote and strengthen this assumption. 

The fundamental attitude of the Church toward the Pope was 
made especially clear during the great festivities of the Holy 
Year of 1950. During that year every major celebration in St. 
Peter's and I attended many of them was systematically 
organized to demonstrate the homage of Catholics to Pius XII. 
His every appearance in a gorgeous processional was the signal 
for wild cheers of adulation. Thousands of pilgrims knelt in 
reverence before his bejeweled figure, either on the stone floor 
of St. Peter's or on the pavement of the square outside. He was 
borne into the middle of every celebration seated on his portable 
throne, carried on the strong shoulders of twelve crimson-clad 
valets. He was, on the whole, an entirely successful idol for the 
millions of pilgrims who came to see him, magnetic, sensitive- 
faced, and graceful. 

The devices of deification used by the Vatican in such activities 
are so familiar that they scarcely need detailed description. 
Catholics are taught to give the Pope far more honor than the 
average citizen of a monarchy gives to his king. They are taught 
to kneel before him when he approaches, and in private audiences 
they are taught to kiss his hand or ring. All the cardinals bask 
in his reflected glory, as princes of the Church, and they are 
officially recognized by the Italian government as princes under 
the Vatican treaty with Italy. When they visit an Italian warship, 
they are given the full broadside of an artillery salute. 19 

In the great Easter celebration each year at least 25,000 faith- 
ful followers kneel before the Pope as he steps out onto the 
central balcony of St. Peter's in his white silk vestments and 
stretches out his hands in the apostolic benediction. But for the 
Pope, Easter day is like many other days. He has lived for more 
than a decade in an atmosphere of directed adulation, and his 
whole life is lived in such a way as to produce among his followers 
the conviction that he is completely unique among all beings on 
the planet. 

It may be worth while to list some of the elementary practices 
and beliefs that help to create the papal god-image. 

He is God's Vicar on earth, and all Catholics owe obedience 
to him "as to God Himself." 


He has power to declare what is right or wrong by divine fiat, 
and simultaneous power to consign to eternal perdition any hu- 
man being who defies his judgment. 

He may depose emperors and free their subjects from allegiance 
to wicked rulers. 

He may forgive sins and remit the temporal punishment for 

He may absolve any human being from the obligation to keep 
any promise. 

He is the only personage in the world who is infallible. 

He can consign human beings to hell for violation of divine law. 

He can make or unmake saints, and every declaration creating 
a saint is per se infallible. 

He can grant dispensations from all impediments of ecclesiasti- 
cal law and from the conditional provisions of divine law. 

He can make decrees which cannot be annulled by any person 
on earth. 

He may resign without requiring the acceptance of his resigna- 
tion by any human agency. 

He is the only person entitled to have his foot kissed. 

He must have a nine-day funeral service. 

He is the only one who has the right to be buried in an elevated 
place in a church. 20 

It would be easy to multiply these practices and beliefs by in- 
cluding the conventions and rules which are used to exalt the 
Pope as a special personage. He is too exalted to eat with any 
other human being; anyone who wishes to see him must come to 
the Vatican; he is never compelled to account to any other human 
being for the money he receives; he is immune from all legal 
process in any court; he cannot be impeached or removed; he 
must never be quoted by any journalist after an interview; he 
has his own great altar in St. Peter's at which no other prelate 
is allowed to officiate; he can assert ownership rights over all 
Church property throughout the world. 

Rome, during the Holy Year of 1950, was flooded with pic- 
tures, statues, postcards, and medallions of the Pope in quantities 
rivaling the Moscow -output of similar material on Stalin. The 
papal biography, in myriad saccharine versions, was piled high 
on the counters of every book store. The whole Catholic system 


of power throughout the world was methodically organized to 
promote the Pope as a superhuman figure. 

Probably the most important device in papal exaltation is not 
a deliberately contrived device at all, but an indirect result of 
papal power. I refer to the fact that throughout the press, radio, 
and motion-picture world, both Catholic and non-Catholic, a 
steady process of glorification is going on. The Pope is always 
favorably represented to the public by pictures, laudatory edi- 
torials, and respectful references. His encyclicals may be flat, 
his policies stupid and reactionary, but no one in the western 
world says so. It was twenty years ago that the New York Times 
dared to criticize an encyclical of a pope editorially because it 
undermined the American public schools. Since then several 
popes have issued shockingly reactionary and anti-scientific pro- 
nouncements which, coming from any other source, would have 
been treated in the American press as clear evidence of personal 
stupidity. But, however much American editors may disagree, 
they no longer discuss the fundamental shortcomings of the popes 
and their Papacy as the sturdy individualist editors of the nine- 
teenth century were wont to do. In a sense, the decline in cour- 
age and integrity in the American press in this area is a proof 
of the success of papal deification. 

The Catholic press, of course, continues to exalt the Pope in 
a manner that parallels the exaltation of Stalin in the Communist 
press. Osservatore Romano, the official organ of the Vatican, is 
essentially a papal puff-sheet. It devotes a large part of the front 
page of almost every issue to a list of the personages who are 
permitted to see the Pope in private and semi-private audiences. 
Nearly all its many pictures are devoted to showing the Pope in 
multiple favorable poses. In these columns he is called a "sweet- 
god" and exalted even more systematically than Stalin is exalted 
by the Moscow newspapers, Pravda and Izvestia. 

The Catholic press throughout the world follows this same 
adulatory line with monotonous regularity. No word of doubt 
about a papal attribute or a papal policy must ever appear in a 
Catholic journal. In celebrating the anniversary of Pius XITs 
election as Pope, the American Ecclesiastical Review, one of the 
leading priestly magazines of the United States, announced a 
series of seventeen articles on His Holiness which were strikingly 


parallel to the articles on Stalin, which I have cited, from the 
Rumanian Academy of Sciences. Cardinal Spellman led off with 
an article on the Pope as "Martyr for Peace." Archbishop Gush- 
ing of Boston described his "contributions to the cause of sacer- 
dotal perfections." Bishop Michael J. Ready of Columbus 
described the Holy Father's "special affection" for the United 
States. Simultaneously, an American publisher brought out a 
biography of Pius XII called Angelic Shepherd. Its title was accu- 

The Ritual of Display 

As the Church has grown in age and power, the Pope has be- 
come more and more the center of an elaborate and costly ritual 
of display. Hundreds of laymen and priests are assigned to 
humble roles as his theatrical supporters in the great ceremonies 
of exaltation which take up a large part of his life. Some of 
those ceremonies outdo in grandeur the greatest royal corona- 
tions. The Pope's part in the canonization of saints may be 
taken as an illustration of the current techniques of obeisance 
and exaltation. Here are extended excerpts from the official 
ceremonies prescribed for such canonizations, showing how the 
role of the Pope has been dramatized in Catholic ritual to the 
point of deification. 21 I have filled in the name of the first saint I 
saw canonized at St. Peter's by Pius XII in the Holy Year of 
1950, together with a few descriptive phrases of my own (in 
brackets), but otherwise I have let the record speai for itself. 
It tells an almost incredible story of the ritualism of display, 
incredible at least in an age of scientific realism. 

Canonization is a ceremony of magnificent solemnity. . . . The Ba- 
silica of St. Peter's has, for many centuries, been destined for solemn 
canonizations. ... It is a very ancient custom to decorate the Basilica 
with great splendor on such occasions. . . . The funds of the Cause must 
defray the expense of the decoration, which consists of banners, can- 
delabra, Latin inscriptions, huge paintings hung from the pillars depicting 
the approved miracles, and finally the picture of the new Saint. At the 
end of the apse, in front of the altar of the Chair of St. Peter, the Papal 
Throne is erected on an elevated platform and alongside it are arranged 
the stalls for Cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Prelates and 
dignitaries who take part in Papal functions. In the apse also there are 
erected tribunes for Royal Sovereigns, the Diplomatic Corps, the Order 
of Malta, the Pope's relatives, the Roman aristocracy, etc. . . . 

The funds of the Cause must supply the frontal for the Papal altar, 


richly embroidered in gold, the missal and the other ornaments used at 
the mass. On the facade of the Basilica are placed inscriptions and a 
large canvas representing the new Saint in glory. . . . Those who have 
to put robes on for the occasion are assisted by their attendants and, when 
all are ready, they go into the Sistine Chapel. . . . The Cardinals . . . 
all wear white damask mitres and their train bearers are vested in croccia, 
cotta and vimpa. . . . The Prince Assistant at the Papal Throne wears 
his ceremonial costume with ornaments of lace; the Grand Master of the 
Sacred Hospice, the Privy Chamberlains of the Cape and Sword, and the 
Chamberlains of Honor wear the picturesque costume of the early Eliza- 
bethan period; the Pontifical Jeweller, who has charge of the Pope's tiaras 
and mitres, wears a silk cloak, and a sword. [Two extra papal tiaras are 
carried hi the procession, in addition to the one on the Pope's head.] 

While the procession is forming, the Pope, accompanied by the Privy 
Chamberlains, comes to the sacristy of the Sistine Chapel wearing a white 
cassock and sash, rochet, and red mozetta. He takes off the mozetta and 
vests in the falda, amice, alb, girdle, red or white stole, and large red or 
white cope embroidered with gold, which is fastened by a gold clasp stud- 
ded with precious stones. The falda is a white silk vestment peculiar to 
the Pope, consisting of a long tunic and train. The vestment falls over the 
Pope's feet, and is raised by his assistants when he walks. 

His Holiness, wearing the tiara, puts incense into the thurible, and en- 
ters the Sistine Chapel preceded by the Papal cross, having at his side the 
Assistant Cardinal-Deacons and the Prince Assistant at the Throne who 
carries his train. . . . The Pope, wearing the mitre, sits on the sedla 
gestatoria and receives from the Cardinal Procurator of the Canonization 
two large painted candles and one small one, one of which he gives to 
the Prince Assistant at the Throne, while the smallest he carries in his 
left hand wrapped in a silk veil, embroidered with gold. The grooms and 
chairmen, wearing their costumes of red damask, raise the sedia on their 
shoulders, and the canopy is spread over the Pope's head. Behind the 
sedia the large fans are carried. The Senior Officers of the Noble Guard, 
the Palatine Guard, and Swiss Guard, the Privy Chamberlains of the 
Cape and Sword, the Macebearers, and all those known as de custodia 
Pontificis form the Pope's guard of honor. The Noble and Swiss Guards, 
clad in full ceremonial costume, bring up the rear of the magnificent pro- 
cession [which takes about thirty minutes to pass] . 

On arriving at the doors of the Basilica the Pope is received by the Chap- 
ter of St. Peter's, while the choir sings the motet Tu es Petrus. When 
the Pope has entered the Basilica, a triumphal march is played on the 
silver trumpets. [The procession then advances]. . . . 

Immediately the ceremony of the "obediences" commences: the Cardi- 
nals approach and kiss the Pope's hand; the Patriarchs, Archbishops and 
Bishops kiss the cross of the stole placed on the knees of His Holiness, 
while Abbots in their own right, Abbots General, and the Penitentiaries 
kiss his foot. . . . 

When the dignitaries have taken their place ... the Cardinal Procura- 


tor of the Canonization approaches the Throne accompanied by a Master 
of Ceremonies and Consistorial Advocate. Arrived at the foot of the 
Throne, the Advocate kneels and addresses the following words to His 

"Most Holy Father, The Most Reverend Cardinal N.N., here present, 
earnestly begs your Holiness to inscribe the Blessed Maria Guglielma 
Emilia De Rodat in the catalogue of the Saints of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and to ordain that she be venerated as a Saint by all the Christian faith- 

The Prelate Secretary of the Briefs, who is standing on the platform 
of the Throne, replies in Latin that the Holy Father is very much edified 
by the virtues of the Blessed, and by the miracles with which Our Lord 
has made their glory resplendent, but before making any decision in a 
matter of such grave importance, he exhorts the faithful to assist him in 
imploring the Divine assistance by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of all the Heavenly 
Court. . . . 

The Prelate Secretary replies that the Holy Father, convinced that the 
canonization is pleasing to God, is resolved to make the proclamation: 
.... [as follows] 

"In honor of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, for the exaltation of the 
Catholic Faith and the increase of the Christian Religion, by the authority 
of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and by 
Our own; after mature deliberation, ever imploring the Divine assistance, 
by the advice of Our Venerable Brethren the Cardinals of the Holy Roman 
Church, the Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops present in the Eternal 
City, We decree and define as a Saint, and We inscribe in the catalogue 
of Saints the Blessed Maria Guglielma Emilia De Rodat, ordaining that 
her memory be celebrated with devotion every year in the Universal 

. . . The Postulants . . . approach the Throne once more and the Con- 
sistorial Advocate, kneeling, thanks His Holiness in the name of the Car- 
dinal Procurator. . . . The Cardinal Procurator ascends the steps of the 
Throne, kisses the hand and the knee of the Pope and returns to his place. 
. . . The Consistorial Advocate then kisses the foot of the Sovereign 

The Pope rises, takes off the mitre and intones the Te Deum which is 
continued by the Papal cantors. At the same time the bells of the Vatican 
Basilica give the signal and the bells of all the churches in Rome an- 
nounce the good news of the Canonization. 

It is scarcely necessary to point out that this ritual of display 
has nothing more to do with original Christianity than the worship 
of Stalin has to do with original socialism. There is not only 
no support in Christian tradition for such a use of Christianity, 
but all the weight of original Christian testimony is against such 


proceedings. In fact, It would be difficult to discover in all history 
any person whose life-record and personal habits conflicted more 
openly with ecclesiastical display and exaggerated ceremonialism 
than Jesus of Nazareth. 

The Kremlin and Thought Control 

totalitarian power, the final flowering of a process of cultivated 
adulation. The question which puzzles many students of Kremlin 
and Vatican policy is : How does a dictatorship go about persuad- 
ing free men to accept this sort of thing in the first place? How 
are the minds of men prepared so that they surrender themselves 
to a deified Leader? 

As far as the Kremlin is concerned, the answer lies in the 
nation-wide network of thought control. Modern psychologists 
have learned that the human mind can be so conditioned that 
it will accept almost anything as true if the conditioning is con- 
tinuous and. skillfully administered. The Kremlin has created 
machinery for controlling the Russian mind that reaches down 
into every school, newspaper, theater, publishing house, court- 
room, and home in the Soviet Union. It penetrates every labora- 
tory, artist's studio, and music room; and dictates the Party line 
which the scientists, writers, artists, and musicians must follow 
if they wish to continue to earn a living. 

The social democrats and Communists who made the two great 
Russian revolutions of 1917 were certainly not unanimous in 
their desire for a nation in which freedom of speech and the 
press would be permanently destroyed. They had fought for 
the rights of free speech and a free press under the Tsars, and 
the general philosophy of many of them was libertarian. Perhaps 
the Communists visualized a permanent dictatorship, but their 
social-democratic allies certainly did not. Karl Marx had advo- 
cated the dictatorship of the proletariat as a transition measure 
in attaining a socialist society, and when such an alleged die- 



tatorship finally arrived in Russia it was still regarded by many 
of his disciples as a brief prelude before the arrival of a demo- 
cratic society. The Communist Party of the USSR as late as 
1919 declared that measures restricting political rights should be 
regarded as "exclusively temporary measures." 1 

As the years went by and the dictatorship of the Communist 
Party, disguised as the dictatorship of the proletariat, became 
more nearly absolute, the concept of a time limit for a tempo- 
rary dictatorship dropped out of discussion. The measures for 
suppressing the opposition were first justified by the excuse that 
Tsarist power must be torn up by the roots and that in the 
meantime the new nation must be united in order to resist its 
enemies. When, after several decades, that excuse wore thin, a 
complete philosophy of repression was developed. It was based 
on the primary thesis that a socialist state does not need to give 
freedom to anti-socialism because anti-socialism threatens the 
life of the whole community. As we shall see later, the theory 
of the repression of anti-socialist teaching is exactly pSalleled 
in the Catholic system of power by the teaching that "error" 
has no rights against truth, and that supreme truth is determined 
and defined by the Church. Stalin's assault on "rotten liberalism" 
as an illegitimate threat to "the vital interests of Bolshevism" 
echoed in principle Pius DCs Allocution seventy years earlier 
when the Pope arrogantly asserted that the Roman Pontiff had no 
obligation to reconcile himself with "progress, liberalism and 
civilization as lately introduced." 2 

The self-righteous Communist gospel of repressing all oppo- 
sition thought flowered fully in the middle thirties, after some of 
the great revolutionary enemies of Stalin had been purged through 
execution. On August 6, 1936, Izvestia summed up the Stalin 
position by saying: "Liberty will be accorded to everybody except 
those whose acts and ideas oppose the interests of the workers, 
and those whose object is to demolish the Soviet regime. No 
lunatics will be able to hold meetings; neither will criminals, 
monarchists, Mensheviks, Socialist Revolutionaries, etc." 3 

If all "those whose acts and ideas oppose the interests of the 
workers" are to be silenced, how will the condemned categories 
be defined, and who will do the defining? The Communists did 
not bother to explain that they considered themselves competent 


to be the sole judges in the matter, and that the "lunatics" to be 
suppressed included all social-democratic and liberal forces, as 
well as Tsarists. Two months before this statement, Pravda, the 
official Communist Party organ in Moscow, had made it clear 
what techniques of suppression would be used against any critics. 
Commenting on the 1936 Constitution, which was supposed to 
bring freedom of the press to the Soviet people, Pravda of June 
27, 1936, said: "Whoever postulates the overthrow of the So- 
cialist regime is an enemy of the people. He will not obtain a 
sheet of paper, he will not be able to cross the threshold of a 
printing office, should he try to fulfill his wretched purpose. He 
will not find a hall, a room or a mere corner in which to spread 
his poison by speech." 4 

Andrei Y. Vishinsky, later Russia's chief representative at the 
United Nations, confirmed this point of view concerning the 
meaning of Soviet freedom of the press when he said in 1948 in 
The Law of the Soviet State: 

In our state, naturally, there is and can be no place for freedom of 
speech, press and so on for the foes of Socialism. Every sort of attempt 
on their part to utilize to the detriment of the State that is to say, to 
the detriment of all the toilers those freedoms granted to the toilers 
must be classified as a counter-revolutionary crime to which Article 58, 
Paragraph 10, or one of the corresponding articles of the Criminal Code 
is applicable. 5 

Vishinsky made it plain that freedom in the Soviet Union is 
not something granted to all citizens but only to "toilers." This 
limitation of privileges to persons who are willing to work, to 
bona fide workers of hand and brain, would not be so serious if 
the denials applied only to the willful loafer and the unprincipled 
exploiter. But under the Communist system the Party determines 
the definition of the word "toiler," and therein lies the tragedy 
and the denial of freedom for honest criticism. A "non-toiler" 
may be a man who is eager to work under reasonable conditions 
but who considers the rules of a Soviet police state intolerable for 
honest labor. 

In spite of Vishinsky's sweeping utterance, it should not be 
imagined that all criticism is stifled in the Soviet Union. There 
is a great deal of give and take in the Soviet press concerning 
the execution of any particular government policy. The letters 
from, citizens in the letter columns of the Moscow newspapers 


are often caustic and acute, and Soviet leaders watch them with 
real attention. Ordinary citizens are actually encouraged to write 
letters criticizing the minor bureaucracy, so long as they do not 
attack high officials or the Politburo's major policies and doc- 
trines. 6 The great Communist newspapers have staffs of cor- 
respondents who handle these letters with considerable care, but 
there is always an understood limit to this type of criticism. The 
very device of the published letter is frequently used by the 
Communist dictatorship to manufacture "public opinion" in 
order to support any side of any question. With complete control 
of the press and the workers' organizations, it is a simple matter 
for the government to create a "mass movement" of protest or 
acclaim for or against any particular position or policy. 

Journalists in the Soviet Union who are Soviet citizens take 
orders from the Kremlin concerning their journalistic output, 
or promptly disappear into forced-labor camps. They must learn 
to regard impartiality in reporting as bourgeois objectivism, and 
pro-government propaganda as news. Non-Russian journalists 
who write frankly about Soviet conditions are asked to leave the 
country or never admitted in the first place. The Soviet gov- 
ernment can afford to be arrogant in dealing with foreign journal- 
ists because it controls the press so completely that no denial of 
journalistic rights becomes known to the Russian public if the 
Kremlin does not make the news public. Even the American 
journalist, Anna Louise Strong, who had been an enthusiastic 
advocate of Soviet policy for years and who had been cited as 
worthy of a Pulitzer Prize by the New York Daily Worker, was 
abruptly expelled from the Soviet Union in February 1949 with- 
out a hearing or trial. She could not appeal to Soviet "public 
opinion" over the heads of the Soviet bureaucrats because there 
was no such thing as independent public opinion. She could not 
get from the Soviet government any specification of charges 
made against her except that she was guilty of "espionage and 
subversive activity." It was suspected that she was sympathetic 
to the strictly Chinese aspirations of the Chinese Communists, 
although there was little evidence to prove this. She had been a 
completely devoted admirer of Stalin, and had meekly submitted 
to the revision of her latest, pro-Communist book, Tomorrow's 
China, by the Soviet Information Bureau. 7 


One reason why no critic of Stalinist policy has any free speech 
in the Soviet Union is that the same power which controls the 
press also controls all the courts and the interpretation of Soviet 
law. There is no such thing in Soviet law as an independent 
judicial conscience. The mind of the judge is not a free mind, 
and the theories of the law which he interprets are subject to 
political pressure. As one Soviet jurist expressed it, "the inde- 
pendence of judges in examining concrete cases does not at all 
exclude the duty to follow the general policy of the government. 
The judiciary is an organ of state power and therefore cannot be 
outside of politics." 8 Soviet legal literature follows this same line 
in subordinating the judicial mind to political forces. "Bold and 
militant Soviet patriotism," said the Soviet State and Law in 
September 1949, "must become the chief criterion for determin- 
ing the quality of Soviet legal literature and must be its basic 
motivating force." The Communists, having destroyed the "op- 
pressive bourgeois State machinery," have given the people no 
substitute to protect themselves against the abuses of Communist 

The Subjection of Truth 

With such a theory and practice of freedom, it was inevitable 
that Kremlin control should extend into the fields of education, 
science, art, and music. Education will be considered in a later 
chapter its subjection to the Kremlin is basic in the control of 
all the arts and sciences. 

Economics was among the first casualties because it had an 
intimate connection with the Marxian outlook. No non-socialist 
economics has been taught in Russian schools since the revolu- 
tion, and all social science has been compelled to follow "the 
correct Marxist-Leninist approach" because only such an ap- 
proach "makes it possible to avoid bourgeois objectivity." The 
dictum is quoted from a comment on history in Moscow's Vo~ 
prosy Filosofii, but it applies to all sciences as well. A National 
Council of Science, composed largely of Communist Party offi- 
cials, was created as early as 1922; it furnished detailed lecture 
outlines to professors of science in the universities, and then set 
Communist students to spy on them in their classes to guarantee 
that the outlines would be used faithfully. 10 

"There is no such thing as non-class art," said Mayakovsky, 


head of the Futurists, in revolutionary Petrograd in 1918, and 
the new Soviet Union has accepted the dictum completely not 
only for pictorial arts but for all literature and literary criticism 
as well. The dictum even applies to poets, for, as Mayakovsky 
put it, "a poet is not he who strolls about like a curly lamb and 
bleats on lyrical themes, but he who in our bitter class struggle 
donates his pen to the arsenal of the proletariat's arms." 11 
"Literary criticism must become a means of ideological propa- 
ganda, a weapon for the spiritual education of the people/' 12 said 
A. M. Egolin of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1946. 
And he quoted Lenin to give sanctity to his opinion: "Down 
with non-party men of letters! Down with supermen of letters! 
The cause of literature must become part and parcel of the gen- 
eral proletarian cause, a 'cog' in one single, great social-demo- 
cratic mechanism set in motion by the entire conscious vanguard 
of the whole working class. The business of literature must 
become a component part of organized, methodical, unified so- 
cial-democratic work." 

Basic in the whole Communist scheme of thought control is 
the fact that there are no privately owned newspapers, magazines, 
and publishing houses in the Soviet Union, and that no political 
parties which might develop an opposition press are permitted 
to function. The press is Communist, and there is no other press. 
The Soviet Union has 7,200 newspapers with a total circulation 
of more than 3 1 ,000,000, but all the editors sing the same tune. 13 
Their general outlook is set forth quite accurately in the two 
great official Moscow dailies, Pravda and Izvestia, which repre- 
sent the Kremlin's policy as faithfully as Rome's Quotidiano or 
the Vatican City's Osservatore Romano represent the Holy See 
and Catholic Action. 

According to one observer, scarcely anyone bothers to read 
the first three pages of a Soviet newspaper, "at least not until he 
has read and reread the foreign news on the last page": 

The first part of the paper is just too boring the same thing day after 
day: a long letter in praise of Comrade Stalin, an account of how the Red 
October Tractor Plant went over the top in production a month ahead of 
schedule, and a report on the Hammer and Sickle Collective, which pro- 
duced three hundred more bushels of wheat this year than last. 14 

In volume the Soviet cultural apparatus is exceedingly impres- 


sive. Since the revolution, there has been a prodigious increase 
in the number of schools, theaters, and published books, and the 
resultant reduction in illiteracy has been quite remarkable. Mos- 
cow alone claims seventy-six publishing houses. When the Krem- 
lin approves the publication of a book, its circulation is likely 
to be much higher than the circulation of a corresponding book 
in the United States. Editions of several million copies of Russian 
books are not uncommon, and some English classics in Russian 
translation are very popular, particularly if their authors are dead 
or pro-Communist. 

The devices for Communist control of the press are quite un- 
exampled. The denial of paper to offending publishers is one 
insurmountable barrier which any critic of the government faces. 
Government agencies operate the whole publishing industry, 
approve the books, choose the titles, censor the text, market the 
product, and determine when any book should be withdrawn 
under fire. It is impossible for any writer, editor, or publisher to 
earn his living and continue to defy the regime. The right to 
work does not belong to any independent journalist, unless it is 
interpreted to mean the right to work in a forced-labor camp. All 
these measures of repression and control are carried out without 
any vocal opposition. To read the Soviet press one would imagine 
that no problem of intellectual freedom ever arose. The control 
of the press by the Party is described with complete self-satisfac- 
tion by the press itself as an evidence of high moral achievement 
and of "true freedom of speech." The phrase was used in a 
laudatory editorial by L. Ilyichev in Pravda on May 5, 1949, 
on "The Press a Mighty Instrument of Communist Educa- 
tion." He said: 

The Soviet press is a press of a new type. It is the expression of Socialist 
Democracy, the expression of true freedom of speech. The noble role of 
the Soviet press and progressive functions become particularly evident 
when one turns to look at the venal bourgeois press. 

Poisoning the minds of the people with reactionary ideas, the bourgeois 
press opposes all that is progressive and wages unrestrained propaganda 
for war^ racial fanaticism and misanthropy. Particularly zealous is the 
reactionary American press. . . . 

In the .stormy sea of press lies, the Communist, genuinely democratic, 
newspapers rise up .like bastions of truth. . . . Propaganda of the ideas 
of Leninism is a noble duty of the Soviet press. 15 

On the same day Pravda said editorially: "The great founders 


of the Party, Lenin and Stalin, in laying its foundations were 
concerned to organize a press that would be a collective propa- 
gandist, agitator and organizer of the masses and would serve 
as a sharp and powerful weapon of the Party and a strong means 
of the ideological education of the people." Pravda compared 
this noble singleness of purpose with the low moral outlook of 
the bourgeois press, particularly in the United States: 

In the countries of capital, notorious bourgeois freedom of the press is 
extolled at every turn. But what freedom of the press can there be, shaH 
we say, in the United States, if the press there is maintained by capitalist 
monopolies and champions their interests? Freedom of press under capi- 
talism is freedom for the financial magnates to bribe newspapers, buy 
writers, and fabricate "public opinion." 16 

Until the 1930's, the general Communist control over the press 
seemed enough to satisfy even the Stalinists, but in the late 
thirties and early forties thought control was extended officially 
into the fields of science and art. Heavy-handed commissars who 
scarcely knew a test tube from a cadenza invaded the realms of 
physics, biology, opera, and fiction with all the delicacy of a 
bull in a china shop. Leaders of the Kremlin conducted a na- 
tional pogrom against independent intellectuals, and simulta- 
neously exalted several scientific charlatans to high places in the 
firmament of Soviet science. In the late 1930's, all literature, all 
science, and all art in the Soviet Union came under the super- 
vision of three political henchmen who acted as secretaries of 
three control groups: the Academy of Sciences, the Secretariat 
of the Writers' Union, and the Committee for the Affairs of the 
Arts. According to Philip Mosely, writing in 1938, "Each of 
these secretaries exercises what is in practice a monopoly right 
of patronage over his respective field." 17 In effect each secretary 
became a prelate-censor whose Imprimatur was essential for pub- 
lication or performance. Since private patronage in art and 
science had disappeared, and private publication had become 
impossible, Russian intellectual freedom had been completely 
destroyed even before the war. After the war, Stalin's grip was 
tighter than ever. 

The most famous case of post-war thought control was that 
of Lysenko. Trofim D. Lysenko is a hard-working and enthusias- 
tic specialist in agriculture who caught the fancy of, Joseph Stalin 
as his predecessor Michurin had caught the fancy of Lenin 


because he was a vigorous organizer who could simplify difficult 
facts into a formula that fitted in with Marxism. He has been 
called a geneticist, but he was never given any substantial recog- 
nition as a scientist by scientists until he found favor with the 
leaders of the Communist Party, and then his triumph was 
purely political. He won the favor of the Stalin machine by advo- 
cating a theory of heredity which happened to conform to Stalin's 
notion of what evolution ought to be. 

During Tsarist days a voluble and earnest man named I. V. 
Michurin gained a considerable fame in Russia by preaching a 
gospel of plant improvement for Russian horticulture. His near- 
est American counterpart was Luther Burbank, who gained simi- 
lar fame in California a generation ago. Russian horticulture 
needed improvement so badly that even an unscientific enthu- 
siast could accomplish wonders with it, and Michurin did effect 
improvements and did stand out in pre-revolutionary days as a 
critic of Tsarist farming methods. That endeared him to Lenin. 
Then, in Stalin's regime, his theories became the occasion for 
the famous Michurin-Lysenko conquest of genetics. 

The essence of the controversy was this. The world's greatest 
geneticists have demonstrated by scientific experiments over a 
period of many generations that human beings and plants do not 
pass on their acquired characteristics by inheritance in their 
genes. What appears to be a passing on of acquired characteris- 
tics is merely a reshuffling or an elimination by natural selection. 
A man who becomes a good baseball pitcher by hard training is 
not any more likely to pass on his aptitudes to his son than a man 
who has never thrown a spit ball. A plant which has become 
hardened by cold weather does not spawn hardier plants because 
of that experience. What may happen in such a case is that the 
hardier and more adaptable plants may survive more frequently 
than the weak ones, and thus the weak ones tend to be eliminated. 
This kind of adaptation is going on all the time in nature, but it 
is not a speedy process. 

The three most famous names associated with these scientific 
findings have been Morgan, Mendel, and Weismann. Also, the 
president of the Soviet's All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sci- 
ence, Nicolai Vavilov, wa$ associated with the theory. He had 
been Russia's outstanding scientist in the field of genetics. 


Stalin never knew much about genetics but he knew what 
he wanted, and his hunches were more Important in Soviet science 
than any scientific experiments. He decided that the traditional 
theories were "reactionary"; they seemed to him too pessimistic 
and flatly contrary to a revolutionist's faith in the possibility of a 
quick and effective revolution. He wanted environment instead 
of heredity emphasized because he believed that this emphasis 
would strengthen the Marxian interpretation of society. The 
truth was too "static" for him, so he demanded that it be "ad- 
justed." He wanted the peasants to believe that if they improved 
a calf, a cabbage, or a cauliflower, the improvement could be 
passed on to their descendants quickly. The fact that the reverse 
of this theory had been established by the world's leading scien- 
tists did not disturb him profoundly. He had never been a 
scientist, and he knew nothing about laboratory experiments. 

The theory that science should be compelled to serve the ends 
of Communist planning was not an exclusive conviction of 
Stalin's. It was inherent in the Communist theory that all truth 
must be adjusted and adapted to serve Communist ends. The 
British scientist, Professor Eric Ashby, who spent a year in the 
Soviet Union in 1945 as a representative of the Australian gov- 
ernment, has tried to explain this attitude. He has said that 
although much of the work of Russian scientists is first class, the 
Soviet government 

... is afraid of the atmosphere, f urbanity, tolerance, and objective- 
ness in which western science is ^o'ne. . . . Russia cannot yet afford to 
release her scholars into the intellectual climate of western Europe, for in 
the west the state adopts an attitude of non-intervention toward intellec- 
tuals. ... To the Russian COuamunist an intellectual worker is in the 
same category as any other \prfter. The workers in a boot factory produce 
the boots the public wjptsf not the boots they would like to make; and 
for precisely the sa^lpeasons a worker hi a laboratory does the research 
the public wants." ^| P 

This is the most charitable explanation of the Soviet philosophy 
of culture which became apparent in the Lysenko case. Lysenko, 
backed by the Communist Party, opened a campaign within the 
Academy of Agricultural Science against the established theory 
of inheritance, and, with scarcely any scientific facts to support 
his wfehful thinking, carried the new illusion to almost unanimous 
triumph over "reactionary idealistic" biology. Vavilov, forced 


out of his position as president of the Academy, arrested as a 
British spy, sent to Siberia, was later imprisoned and died in 
disgrace. George S. Counts and Nucia Lodge have told the story 
very ably in their The Country of the Blind, and so has Professor 
H. J. Muller of Indiana University, Nobel Prize winner in science 
and former geneticist in Moscow. 19 The documents in the case 
have been assembled and edited by an American botanist, Pro- 
fessor Conway Zirkle, in his Death of a Science in Russia. 

The state of mind of the Russian scientists, their groveling 
abjectness before Communist political power, can best be appre- 
ciated by quoting several paragraphs from Lysenko's triumphant 
speech actually a Stalinist stump speech before the Lenin 
Academy of Agricultural Science on July 31, 1948, as published 
in Moscow's VOKS Bulletin. Pravda printed Lysenko's remarks 
under a lead paragraph which set the keynote of the controversy 
by describing Stalin as "the greatest scholar of our epoch." Here 
is Lysenko's oratorical climax: 

V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin discovered I. V. Michurin and made his 
teaching the possession of the Soviet people. By their great paternal atten- 
tion to his work, they saved for biology remarkable Michurin's teaching. 
The Party, the Government, and J. V. Stalin personally have taken an 
unflagging interest in the further development of Michurin's teaching. 
There is no more honorable task for us Soviet biologists than to develop 
creatively Michurin's teaching and to follow in all our activities Michu- 
rin's style in the investigation of the nature of evolution of living beings. 

The question is asked, what is the attitude of the Central Committee 
of the Party to my report. I answer: The Central Committee of the 
Party examined my report and approved it. (Stormy applause, ovation, 
all rise). . . . 

Long live the Party of Lenin and Stalin which discovered Michurin 
for the world (applause) and created all the conditions for the progress 
of advanced materialist biology in our country (applause) . 

Glory to the great friend and champion of science, our Leader and 
1 Teacher, Comrade Stalin. 

(All rise, prolonged applause) 20 

Two days later, one of the leading biologists attacked by 
Lysenko, Professor Anton Zhebrak, recanted in words that re- 
mind one of Galileo's submission to the Holy Office in 1616: 

Since it is the sacred duty of the scientists of our country to march in 
step with the entire people for the purpose of satisfying their needs and 
vitally essential demands of their state, of struggling with the vestiges of 
capitalism, of aiding the Communist education of the toilers, and of mov- 


ing science ahead without interruption, then, as a member of the Party 
and as a scientist from the ranks of the people, I do not want to be 
regarded as a renegade, I do not want to be barred from assisting in the 
achievement of the noble tasks of the scientists of our Motherland. I 
want to work within the framework of that tendency which is recognized 
as forward-looking in our country and with the methods which are pro- 
pounded by Timiriazev and Michurin. Henceforth I shall strive with all 
my power to make my works of maximum use to my country, to develop 
creatively the heritage of Tkniriazev and Michurin, to assist the building 
of Communism in our Motherland. 21 

Twelve days later the top-ranking scientific organization of 
Russia f ell in line and discharged two of its notable officials who 
had revealed some sympathy for the Morgan-Mendel genetic 
findings. It declared that it would assume a "leading position in 
the struggle against idealistic-reactionary teachings in science, 
against servility and slavishness toward foreign pseudo-science." 
And the members of the Presidium of the Academy announced 
in a personal letter to Stalin that the Presidium "promises you, 
dear Josef Vissarionovich, and, in your person, our Party and 
government to correct resolutely the mistakes permitted by us." 2 ? 

It should be remembered that this sudden reversal of view by 
distinguished scientists took place not in regard to a narrowly 
disputed point in modern science but in regard to a point on 
which the overwhelming majority of world specialists have been 
in agreement for a long time. Julian Huxley, whose scientific 
standing is unimpeachable, has declared: "In repudiating Mor- 
gano-Mendelism the Michurinites and the Communist Party of 
the USSR have repudiated not a mere speculative hypothesis nor 
a theory motivated by other than scientific reasons, but a large 
body of tested scientific fact, and a number of well-validated 
scientific laws." As Sir Henry Dale, former president of the 
British Association for the Advancement of Science, declared in 
resigning from the Russian Academy in protest against the new 
Stalinist genetics, Lysenko is "the advocate of a doctrine of evolu- 
tion which, in effect, denies all the progress made by research in 
that field since Laxft^ck's speculations appeared early in the 
nineteenth century."^^^ 

The truth is that the Kremlin is unwilling to face facts concern- 
ing the nature of man as unwilling as the Papacy was to face 
the findings of Galileo in 1 600. It insists on its own anthropology 


because it has a preconceived notion of what man must be, and it 
insists on twisting the facts of nature to meet its own specifica- 
tions. The Communist movement, as Professor Muller has pointed 
out, is dominated by "the type of mind that sees things as only 
black and white, yes and no, and so cannot admit the importance 
of both heredity and environment. Believing that it has found the 
complete answer to all the world's ills, through its particular way 
of manipulating environment, the Communist Party regards as a 
menace any concept that does not fit patly into its scheme for 
mankind. The genes do not fit into that concept, in its opinion, 
hence the existence of the genes must be denied." 24 

"The USSR/' says Julian Huxley, "has officially rejected some 
of the essentials of the scientific method itself, and has split world 
science into two hostile camps. . . . Soviet genetics has thus 
really ceased to be science in the sense in which the scientists of 
the past three centuries have practised it, and has become a 
branch of dogmatic theology." 25 

Perhaps the most significant fact in the Lysenko controversy 
was that not a single scientist in Russia was able to stand up and 
challenge the right of the Communist Party's Central Committee 
to determine the truth or falsehood of a fact of genetics. The 
few recorded speeches of protest reported in the Soviet press 
were confined to apologies and explanations. The dictatorship 
over the Russian mind had become so complete that the right, 
as compared to the wisdom, of its control was never even ques- 
tioned. In later chapters we shall see how this control of thought 
destroys freedom in the schools and corrupts the social sciences 
and history. 

Marxian Music 

One might imagine that music would be so far removed from 
political dogma that composers could work in comparative peace 
even under a Soviet dictatorship; but in 1948 opera and sym- 
phonic music, as well as motion pictures and drama, came under 
the heavy-handed attack of the Communist Party's Central Com- 
mittee. "A play, a picture, and a song," according to Communist 
theory as expressed in Bolshevik, "are also propaganda and agita- 
tion, although expressed in artistic forms." 26 

The attack on music and musicians made use of the traditional 
Communist cliches concerning "formalism," "bourgeois deca- 


dence," obscure melodies, and all the other criticisms which any 
ignoramus might make concerning any piece of chamber music. 
The criticisms were not as shocking as the results. 

One could expect a ban on such Allied war tunes as Tipperary 
and K-K-K-Katy, on the ground that they were "products of the 
bourgeois music hall"; but the extent to which serious composers 
took orders from musically illiterate commissars shocked the 
most cynical observers. In the musical purge following World 
War II some of the world's greatest composers offered quick capit- 
ulation to politicians, using language that indicated complete 
intellectual degradation. 

Two of these great composers, Dimitri Shostakovich and Sergei 
Prokofiev, were arraigned in February 1948 by the Central 
Committee of the Communist Party in a sweeping attack on the 
Union of Soviet Composers, an attack which bristled with the 
phrases of political denunciation for purely musical deficiencies. 
Some of the phrases of abuse in that assault reveal the whole 
spirit of thought control in the Kremlin system "anti-popular 
formalist perversions"; "anti-democratic tendencies in music"; 
"the cult of atonality, the dissonance and discord"; "enthusiasm 
for confused, neuro-pathological combinations"; "reeks strongly 
of the bourgeois music of Europe and America"; "a narrow circle 
of specialists and musical gourmands"; "the partisans of deca- 
dence"; "champions of the most backward and mouldy con- 
servatism." 27 

To an outsider this whole stream of invective is meaningless 
unless it is understood as the product of almost psychopathic 
meanness and frustration. Trifling deficiencies are magnified into 
major crimes, and the attack is delivered with sadistic relish and 
self -righteousness. The suggestions for reform seem childish, 
and their authors show little comprehension of the difficulties of 
creative work. If such a vindictive analysis had been submitted 
to any ordinary western newspaper by a neurotic young aspirant 
to the role of music critic, it would have been promptly thrown 
in the wastebasket. Yet a composer like Shostakovich felt obliged 
to apologize in abject language; he had been under attack inter- 
mittently since 1936, and perhaps he realized that it was useless 
to fight back: 

When today the Party and our entire country, in the words of the reso- 


lution of the Central Committee, criticize this direction of my work, I 
know that the Party is right and I know that the Party is showing concern 
for Soviet art and for me, a Soviet composer. . . . 

With complete clarity and precision the Central Committee of the Party 
has pointed to the absence in my compositions of the transformation of 
the character of the people, of that great spirit by which our people live. 

I am deeply grateful for this and for every criticism contained in the 
resolution. All of the instructions of the Central Committee and particu- 
larly those which touch me personally I accept as evidence of a severe but 
fatherly concern about us, Soviet artists. 28 

Prokofiev was not quite so abject as Shostakovich, although 
he freely admitted past sins and hailed "this resolution which 
creates conditions for the restoration of the health of the entire 
organism of Soviet music." He tried to redeem himself promptly 
with a new opera, but it was sternly rejected as a "typical relapse 
into formalism." Perhaps the explanation of this harsh treatment 
was that Prokofiev, although he apologized by letter, did not 
take the floor at the All-Union Congress of Composers to pros- 
trate himself before his political masters in person. Shostakovich 
performed this act of personal prostration with conspicuous 
humility, and apparently his retraction and repentance were 
accepted, and he still has a hypothetical future as a Soviet artist. 
But Prokofiev's rejected opera never reached the public, and his 
admirers may never know what the world has lost. 

Examples of this kind of repression and distortion of culture 
in the Soviet Union can be multiplied indefinitely. The controlled 
press glories in "purposive direction." The assumption univer- 
sally accepted (by compulsion) in the intellectual world is that 
the political dictatorship has a moral right to make judgments 
in all the fields of learning and art, and that it is the duty of men 
of culture to submit to these judgments. Even encyclopedias are 
strictly partisan propaganda weapons. Pravda announced in 
March 1949 that the Council of Ministers had ordered a new 
Soviet encyclopedia which would "reflect the party line all 
the facts will be precise and correct." 29 In Pravda' s opinion, this 
would be the "best encyclopedia in the world," perhaps because it 
would "show convincingly the superiority of Socialist culture 
over the rotting culture of the capitalist world, expose imperialist 
aggression and present party criticism of modem reactionary 
bourgeois lines in the fields of science, technology, and culture." 


Painting has become so degraded that, as Alexander Werth 
has put it in The Nation, u the two principal criteria of merit in 
painting are subject matter and photographic likeness usually 
of Lenin and Stalin." so "The value of a literary work," said one 
critic frankly, "is determined in the Soviet Society primarily by 
whether it assists the people to build Communism." The spirit 
of the new Kremlin literature was well summed up by V. Yermi- 
lov in an article on Stalin as "Great Friend of Literature": 

Then came an epoch that told a writer that Ms work was necessary to 
the people, the state, the Motherland, as bread and air are to man. This 
was the epoch of the triumph of the ordinary people, the stern, exacting, 
and horny-handed craftsman and master-builder for whom labor and cul- 
ture are sacred, and it told the writers through the lips of the great Stalin: 
your labor is particularly valuable for you are the engineers of human 
souls. The writer, an engineer of the human souls, is not an observer of 
reality, but a builder who shapes life, appraising all the phenomena of 
life he depicts from the viewpoint of the Bolshevik Party. By Ms work 
he supports the new and progressive that comes into existence. The writer 
of the Stalin epoch considers himself a worker on a giant construction 
project, a Soviet "factory producing happiness." 31 

In the "factory producing happiness" many of the Soviet's most 
devoted disciples find themselves increasingly uncomfortable. 
They never know when an accurate but un-Stalinist historical in- 
terpretation will result in the suppression of a whole novel or 
opera. Alexander Fadeyev's war novel about a Komsomol re- 
sistance organization won a Stalin prize, but when it was dis- 
covered that he did not give the Party enough credit for 
organizing the Young Guard in overcoming the panic in the 
army during the German offensive, Pravda severely reprimanded 
him. The well-known novelist, Konstantin Simonov, tried hard 
in his Smoke of My Fatherland to make his Communist hero 
come alive, but in spite of himself, his villain was more credible 
than his hero; so he was publicly humiliated and denounced. 32 
It is assumed that almost all British and American literature not 
produced by Communists is decadent, even when the writers are 
distinctly progressive in their economic thoughts. Eugene O'Neill 
was condemned for "glorifying prostitutes and tramps"; Stein- 
beck, Dos Passes, and Erskine Caldwell for writing books "hyenas 
might have written if they could type"; Graham Greene for writing 
"mystical rubbish"; Arthur Koesfler for "poisonous saliva squirt- 


ing over all that is progressive and involved with respect for 
men"; Stephen Spender for "lack of conviction." 33 

The same attitude is imposed upon the Soviet Union's satellite 
countries. Mao Tse-tung, leader of Communist China, early in 
1950 publicly burned a number of books on Chinese history and 
poetry because they conflicted with the Kremlin's interpretation of 
Oriental life. A left-wing labor paper in Hungary, according to the 
New York Times, attacked the library of the Shell Oil Company 
in that country because it contained "mainly fascist, semi-fascist 
and destructive bourgeois books, such as the works of Louis 
Bromfield, Upton Sinclair and Lin Yu tang." By 1951 the Com- 
munist-dominated Hungarian regime had banned a list of books 
and authors which was almost as long as the corresponding list of 
banned books in Catholic Ireland. The Hungarian anathema 
was placed upon Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Edgar Rice 
Burroughs' Tarzan stories, and Dale Carnegie's How to Win 
Friends and Influence Peopled 

Naturally, the English language textbooks used in Russian 
schools to teach English to Soviet children must be purged of 
all that is tainted. They should, according to one Soviet foreign- 
language specialist, "expose the racial discrimination in the 
Anglo-Saxon countries and paint the facts of the club-law and 
terror of these imperialistic beasts in colonial and small coun- 
tries." The specialist, in this case a lady, condemned the con- 
ventional English-language texts because they were "filled with 
the considerations of the usefulness of photography, of the gener- 
osity of the rich merchants of Britain, of the philanthropic be- 
havior of the small shop keepers of the U.S.A. leaving all their 
goods to the poor." 35 

This same type of control for textbooks is developed in satellite 
countries as soon as the Soviet Union "liberates" them. The 
Vice-Minister of Education of the satellite government of Poland 
objected in 1949 to a third-grade arithmetic book because it 
pictured a street of privately owned stores with a shop owned 
by S. Baranski in the foreground, and asked the child to count 
the number of stores in the picture. This was immoral because 
it gave the child an exaggerated sense of the importance of pri- 
vate enterprise. The same Vice-Minister objected to physics 
textbooks which mentioned Fulton, Wright, and Watt, but omit- 


ted Russian and Polish scientists who were, according to the 
Minister, equally eminent. 36 

Controlled Culture 

Such cultural attitudes result in a completely controlled set of 
radio programs for the whole Soviet Union and a completely 
controlled film industry. For a time the Soviet Union attempted 
to operate its own film industry completely, but it has since per- 
mitted the development of tightly controlled private companies* 
No opposition voice can be heard on the air or on a sound track, 
and foreign radio programs are thoroughly screened. 37 This 
screening is not too difficult because most Russians do not have 
radio receiving sets of the American type, and the sets must be 
registered by the small minority who can afford them. Most 
listeners get their radio programs through wired speakers, similar 
to the wired speakers used in some American hotels, and it is a 
simple matter for the government to control the centralized 
broadcasting which supplies such diffusion networks. The Minis- 
try of Communications itself controls the installations of diffusion 
receiving equipment. But it should not be imagined that the 
Kremlin loads its air waves with mere propaganda or that it is 
indifferent to the possibility of raising the cultural level of its 
people by serious artistic broadcasting. Many of its programs 
are of great artistic merit, and it planned, by 1948, seven million 
wired speakers to carry these programs to its vast polyglot cli- 
entele of 200,000,000 persons speaking eighty major languages. 

For the control of films the Kremlin has in Great Russia the 
Ministry of Cinematography of the USSR, which was organized 
in 1946. Like almost everything else in the Soviet Union's cul- 
tural life, it is directed by the Central Committee of the Com- 
munist Party; and the constituent republics of the Union have 
their little ministries of cinematography. The Communist Central 
Committee not only controls the production of films but also 
intervenes to condemn any existing film which does not appeal 
to its members as conforming to their political outlook. In 1946, 
it condemned a film on the Don Basin, Bolshaia Zhizn, because 
"the restoration of the Don Basin is presented as if the initiative 
of the workers not only receives no support, but was even opposed 
by state organizations," and because "the secretary of the Party 


organization in the restored mine is shown in a deliberately ridicu- 
lous position." 38 The offending film, of course, was never re- 
leased to the public. 

Usually the making of such films is blocked in advance by the 
preventive censorship of the Ministry. Those foreign films which 
are admitted to the country give an entirely distorted picture of 
life in non-Communist civilizations, and these misrepresentations 
are generally accepted by the Soviet people because very few 
Russians are permitted to emigrate from their country to look at 
the outside world for themselves. 

Documentary films concerning Soviet life must never cast 
aspersions on Russian economic techniques; if they do, they are 
cut down before release. An unfortunate producer, Y. M. Bliokh 
of the Lower Volga Newsreel Studios, imagined in 1949 that it 
would be pleasing to city film addicts if he showed a little crude 
life among the fishermen of the Caspian and told a film story 
of their hard struggle to survive. To add a little pleasure to the 
film, he gave his fishermen a big catch, using some sturgeons 
that had been previously caught. The picture was suppressed 
and he was banished from the studios for two years for vulgar 
"fictitious episodes," and for showing old and backward fishing 
techniques, when everybody knows that the Caspian fishermen 
have a strong labor organization and "the most modern fishing 
methods." 39 

Sergei Eisenstein, perhaps the greatest of the Soviet film direc- 
tors, in Ms Ivan the Terrible happened to arouse the wrath of 
the Communist Central Committee because his depiction of 
Ivan's police was a little too realistic and suggestive of the political 
police in more recent times. According to the Committee's in- 
dictment, he made the "progressive" forces of Ivan "a band of 
degenerates, similar to the American Ku Klux Klan, and Ivan 
the Terrible, a man of strong will and character, as weak and 
spineless, something like Hamlet." Eisenstein confessed his sin 
in public, declaring he and others had "lost sight of the honorable, 
militant, and educational task which rests upon our art during 
the years of great labor on the part of all the people to build a 
Communist society." 40 

It is hardly surprising, after all these incursions into the fields 
of culture, that Stalin has even entered the field of philology 


and laid down a Party line for scholars In that territory. In 
June 1950, he graciously wrote a number of answers in Pravda 
to questions sent in by "a group of youthful comrades." He 
reached the surprising conclusion that It is necessary to introduce 
Marxism Into philology. His modest effort was not received 
modestly by his comrades. Next month the Academy of Sciences 
and the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR united in 
sending a message to Stalin, the "brilliant leader and teacher of 
the heroic Bolshevik party, the Soviet people and all progressive 
humanity," saying: 

As the coryphaeus of science, you are creating works the like of which 
have never- been seen in the history of advanced science. Your work, 
"Concerning Marxism in Linguistics," is a model of genuine creative sci- 
ence, a great example of the way science must be developed and advanced. 
This work has brought a turning point in linguistics, has opened a new 
era for all Soviet science. 41 

Stalin revealed the fact that his preference is for the Russian 
language and that he thought it was a good thing that Soviet 
writers had exalted Russian as the coming "world language of 
Socialism." Many Soviet writers have promptly agreed with him. 
They contend that English does not have a very bright future 
because it "became the world language of capitalism." David Zas- 
lavsky, one of the Soviet Union's leading journalists, commented 
In a Russian Communist literary magazine in 1949 that "no one 
can call himself a scholar in the full and genuine meaning of the 
word, if he does not know Russian, if he does not read the works 
of Russian thought In the original. Russians unquestionably 
occupy first place in the social sciences. All future advances in 
these sciences have been determined by the works of genius of 
Lenin and Stalin ... it is impossible to be a genuinely edu- 
cated person without Russian." 42 

This bare summary of Kremlin thought control states only the 
negative side of the Russian picture. In deference to Communist 
culture it should be pointed out that there Is a positive side. The 
Soviet Union is very active culturally, and the Communist sec- 
tions of the world are, for the most part, inspired with that 
special type of intellectual optimism which arises in a relatively 
new society. Cultural control is exercised whenever the Party 
wishes to exercise it, but the repression does not mean indifference 


to the tools of culture. The Communist Party, with all its faults, 
is tremendously interested in improving the receiving capacity 
of the Russian mind. The Soviet government is vigorously fight- 
ing illiteracy and at the same time attempting to dispel the tradi- 
tional folk superstitions of the Russian people. Schools, theaters, 
and publishing houses are flourishing, and the volume of work 
produced by Soviet writers and artists is impressive. 

But who can say whether a large quantity of controlled culture 
is better than a small quantity of free culture? One appraisal of 
Kremlin thought control comes with deadly force from some 
Yugoslavs who have lived under it. In 1949 the Yugoslav Com- 
munists who had broken away to serve under the rebellious Tito 
published a pamphlet called Some Questions of Criticism and 
Self-Criticism in the Soviet Union. "In every phase which we 
have investigated," said the pamphlet, "in Soviet science, philos- 
ophy, art and literature, as well as in party life, criticism and 
self-criticism almost never occur except when ordered by the 
Central Committee of the Bolshevik party and by Stalin himself. 
. . . Instead of protesting, Soviet philosophers at a time when 
the international proletariat expects creative activity from them 
are falling into scholasticism instead of defending freedom of 
science. . . . Monopoly is a denial of socialism. . . . Criticism 
is a struggle. Monopoly is power without struggle." 43 

The Vatican and Thought Control 

instrument compared to that of the Kremlin. It has no secret 
police of its own, and it can no longer rely on the thumbscrew 
and the rack as punishments for heresy. Its worst features are 
incidental, and they spring more from tradition than from any 
conscious will to destroy personal freedom. In the field of cul- 
ture the Vatican is still suffering from the fact that it was 
born and grew to maturity in a world which denied the funda- 
mental human freedoms to great masses of men. 

The Vatican exercises control over the minds of millions of 
people throughout the world by a triple process: it denies them 
the right to think freely about certain vital moral problems by 
cutting them off from vital sources of information; it offers them 
a limited culture; and it promotes tradition and obedience as sub- 
stitutes for scientific curiosity. Probably the repressive measures 
used by the Church against critics are not actually so important 
in the modern world as the continuing corruption of human 
intelligence by systematically cultivated superstition. 

The belief that men have a right to disagree with their priests 
is relatively new in the world. Only a few centuries ago most 
people in Europe felt that ordinary men had no right to challenge 
established beliefs. The orthodox majority hanged and burned 
men for rejecting orthodox creeds, and religious controversies 
commonly ended in violence and bloodshed. Governments com- 
pelled their subjects to support state churches and punished their 
citizens for disagreeing with the teachings of those churches. 

Contrary to popular belief, coercion in religious affairs was 
not immediately abandoned by the first colonists who came to 



American shores. In many American colonies men were pun- 
ished for heresy and compelled to support state churches whose 
tenets they could not accept. Occasionally an almost insane 
fanaticism affected a whole community of our forefathers. Nine- 
teen residents of Salem Villag^Massachusetts, were hanged for 
witchcraft in 1691. In SwitzenJnd in 1553, at the instance of 
John Calvin, Michael Servetus was burned alive at the stake for 
views that later became known as Unitarian. The Roman Catho- 
lic Church, it should be remembered, had no monopoly on in- 
tolerance at that time, and it has no monopoly today. In the 
Middle Ages the Church became the chief engine of intolerance 
and suppression largely because it was the chief cultural body of 
that time. Any other ruling church might have been equally 
intolerant. The state also was intolerant, and its own courts were 
probably as cruel as, and certainly more corrupt than, the ecclesi- 
astical courts of the Inquisition. 

The Papacy began to assert the right of external coercion 
against unbelievers about the fourth century, and its intolerance 
increased as it became more powerful. Its claim to the right to 
suppress opposing thought seemed logical to men at that time be- 
cause they believed that the Church had supreme moral authority 
over the whole human race. Although St. Augustine opposed 
the death penalty for heretics and declared that "no man should 
be compelled to accept our faith by force," he finally came to 
accept banishment for heretics; and later leaders of the Church 
disregarded Ms statement against compulsion. For exhibition 
purposes the Papacy preserved the rule that "the Church abhors 
the shedding of blood," but in practice the rule simply exempted 
priests from duty as executioners; it did not prevent the Church 
from turning over heretics to the civil arm of the government, 
which employed non-priests to light the faggots. 

The first person to be killed for heresy was the Spaniard, 
Priscillian, who was executed in 385. St. Ambrose and other 
churchmen protested, but a precedent had been set. By 1197 
Peter of Aragon was ordering the stake for heretics, and a little 
later Pope Innocent III was proclaiming the bloody crusade 
against the Albigenses. Soon afterwards the Papacy organized 
a continent-wide system for suppressing heresy. 

Books were some of the first casualties in the campaign against 


dangerous beliefs; in fact, it was common practice for Catholic 
authorities to burn books they considered heretical long before 
the Inquisition. Under Innocent IV in 1 248 twenty wagon-loads 
of the Talmud and other Jewish books were publicly burned in 
Paris. 1 

The Inquisition flowered in southern Europe, especially in 
Spain, France, and Bohemia, and spread to countries like the 
Netherlands, and even Mexico, where priests and conquistadores 
united in "Christianizing" the Indians with sword and cross. 

The assumption behind the Inquisition was that the Pope, as 
the highest representative of truth on earth, had a special assign- 
ment to search out and punish disbelief. The disbelief might be 
quite trivial; any deviation from orthodoxy which in the eyes of 
the clerics seemed important was enough for retributive slaughter. 
The Waldensians were massacred in a body in Piedmont for 
advocating Christianity in its pristine form and for opposing 
such purely clerical contrivances as indulgences, purgatory, and 
prayers for the dead. When Milton heard of the massacre of the 
Waldensians, he cried: 

Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones 
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold. 

But it was a long time before men struck at the roots of such in- 
tolerance by adopting a program for freedom of faith and freedom 
of thought. 

The popes, beginning with Gregory IX, went about the process 
of searching out unbelievers with great zeal, and they seemed to 
have no doubt that they were authorized by Providence to pun- 
ish all heresy. They frequently used traveling monks as doctrinal 
spies. They appointed special and permanent judges to sit in 
the Inquisition courts, and too often these judges were Dominican 
friars who lacked every ingredient of the judicial temperament. 
Frequently the friars kept the money of the heretics they con- 
demned, which made the bishops very angry because they were 
supposed to get their share. 2 

The techniques of prosecution were far worse than those of a 
modern Communist court. Usually an inquisitor chosen by the 
Pope would go into a medieval town and start an investigation 
of suspected heresy by asking the local inhabitants to spy on each 
other. The inquisitor would frequently direct the parish priest 


to send in the witnesses with their complaints. Naturally, the 
complaints poured in. They were primitive mixtures of malice, 
fanaticism, and distorted truth, representing fact, fancy, and 
hearsay. The prosecutions were entirely secret. The persons 
complained of never had a chance to confront witnesses, and wit- 
nesses for the defense almost never appeared because they were 
afraid to testify. Every defendant was presumed guilty until he 
established his innocence. There were no juries and usually no 
lawyers for the defense. Innocent III forbade lawyers to appear 
for heretics, and later popes allowed lawyers to appear only if 
they were of "undoubted loyalty." Nobody was ever acquitted; 
the most that a victim could hope for was to have his case filed 
for further inquiry. 

To make sure that guilty heretics did not escape, each victim 
was threatened with the stake if he did not confess. Then, if he 
still held out, he was imprisoned for a time and half-starved. Then 
he was visited by a persistent inquisitor who was experienced in 
worming admissions out of broken men. Finally, if no other 
method produced a confession, the prisoner was submitted to 
torture. Torture was officially introduced by Pope Clement IV, 
and Clement V drew up a whole set of regulations for personal 

Theoretically, it was permissible to torture each heretic only 
once in order to secure a confession, but the rule was easily 
evaded by describing the second session of torture as a "continua- 
tion" of the first session. Soon, witnesses as well as defendants 
were submitted to preliminary torture to loosen their tongues and 
to impress upon them the importance of supplying effective evi- 
dence against the accused. Savonarola, the stormy evangelist of 
Florence, underwent a slight variation in treatment. He was sub- 
jected to a form of torture known as the strappado for at least 
three days before he was finally burned. This device, in the words 
of H. C. Lea in his famous History of the Inquisition of the Mid- 
dle Ages, "consisted in tying the prisoner's hands behind his 
back, then hoisting him by a rope fastened to his wrists, letting 
him drop from a height and arresting him with a jerk before 
his feet reached the floor. Sometimes heavy weights were attached 
to the feet to render the operation more severe." 3 Some victims 
actually died from torture before they could be sentenced and 


killed. Sometimes a fanatical judge would order a whole com- 
pany of alleged heretics burned alive one Dominican monk, 
acting as a judge of the Inquisition in 1239, sent 180 victims to 
the flames at one time. The Spanish Inquisition capped all the 
other national varieties for sadism, and nominally it lasted for 
more than three hundred years, until 1 820. To this day, the name 
of Torquemada, the chief Grand Inquisitor of Spain, is synony- 
mous in history with cruelty. 

It is true that some of the excesses of the Inquisition can be 
charged to civil governments rather than the Church. The 
Church usually turned over its victims to civil authorities for 
execution after they had been pronounced guilty. But the moral, 
and sometimes the official, responsibility for the punishment 
rested with the Church. The courts that convicted the heretics 
were entirely ecclesiastical. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that 
"the predominant ecclesiastical nature of the institution [the 
Spanish Inquisition] can hardly be doubted. The Holy See sus- 
tained the institution, accorded to the grand inquisitor canonical 
installation and therewith judicial authority concerning matters 
of faith, while from the grand inquisitor jurisdiction passed down 
to the subsidiary tribunals under his control . . . the Pope 
always admitted appeals from it to the Holy See . . . intervened 
in the legislation, deposed grand inquisitors, and so on." 4 

I am not concerned here with the number of men who had 
their flesh roasted in the Inquisition. The purpose of inserting 
this bit of gruesome history is to remind the reader that the Vati- 
can has a background as an instrument of thought control. In 
fact, it has a much longer record than the Kremlin although it 
is probable that more millions have suffered from barbarism in 
the USSR. The Church emphasizes the fact that for centuries it 
was the world's chief guardian of culture, and too often it is for- 
gotten that the Church was also for centuries the world's chief 
executioner of human freedom. Macaulay spoke rather bitterly, 
but with much truth, when he said of the Church in 1848 that, 
"during the last three centuries, to stunt the growth of the human 
mind has been her chief object. Throughout Christendom, 
whatever advance has been made in knowledge, in freedom, in 
wealth, and in the arts of life, has been made in spite of her, and 
has everywhere been in inverse proportion to her power." 5 


The Catholic people of the world have completely repudiated 
the spirit of the Inquisition, but the Vatican Is in many ways the 
same Institution as it was years ago when the Inquisition was in 
full swing. Its practices have become relatively humane, but 
its structure of power and its claim of authority over men's 
minds are essentially the same. It has never had a democratic 
housecleaning or a real change of administration since the days 
of the Inquisition. Its leading philosopher is still St. Thomas 
Aquinas, who taught that the Church had the right to kill heretics. 
It still exalts Cardinal Bellarmine as "the spiritual father of the 
Declaration of Independence," although he taught that "freedom 
of belief is pernicious; it is nothing but the freedom to be wrong." 
The Holy Office, the central organ of the Inquisition, is still the 
chief engine of power in the Roman system; it still has grand 
inquisitors on its staff; and they still try in secret any person 
charged with heresy. It still enforces the principle that an auto- 
cratic agency of papal power has the right to examine men's be- 
liefs and punish them without recourse for disagreement with 

Even today the Church frequently publishes apologetic state- 
ments about the Inquisition which reveal a rather startling kin- 
ship with the attitude of the medieval inquisitor. Father Joseph 
Blotzen, the German Jesuit priest who wrote the important article 
on the Inquisition in the Catholic Encyclopedia, after pointing 
out that only five of twenty-four suspected heretics were burned 
alive in Farmers from 1318 to 1324, and that only forty-two of 
930 were burned alive in Toulouse from 1308 to 1323, says: 
"These data and others of the same nature bear out the assertion 
that the Inquisition marks a substantial advance in the contem- 
porary administration of justice, and therefore, in the general 
civilization of mankind." Elsewhere in that same official article., 
Father Blotzen says of the inquisitors: "Far from being inhuman, 
they were, as a rule, men of spotless character and sometimes of 
truly admirable sanctity, and not a few^of them have been canon- 
ized by the Church. There is absolutely no reason to look on 
the medieval ecclesiastical judge as intellectually or morally in- 
ferior to the modern judge. . . . Moreover, history does not 
justify the hypothesis that the medieval heretics were prodigies 
of virtue, deserving our sympathy in advance." 


The Machinery of Coercion 

The existing Vatican macMnery for thought control consists 
of a doctrine, a set of legal regulations, and several instruments 
of censorship and review. The use of the apparatus of control 
is based upon the assumption that the Holy See has always had 
the right of coercing the human mind directly or indirectly in 
order to effect its salvation. From this assumption it follows 
logically that the Church may take any step accessary to achieve 
its purpose. It may prevent falsehood from reaching the human 
mind in the first place, or it may inoculate the mind against criti- 
cal truth by using any ecclesiastical serum which seems suitable. 

Censorship is the first and necessary element in clerical thought 
control. The Church, naturally, favors its own system of censor- 
ship over that of the state, although in Spain it frequently defers 
to government censors because they enforce clerical standards. 
In a country like the United States, where Catholics are in a 
minority, the Church leaders "do not wish the state to have power 
to suppress expressions of opinion, because we fear it might abuse 
that power by suppressing the true and the good along with the 
false and the bad." But the Church does not fear the suppression 
of the true along with the false in its own system of censorship 
because "in the government of the Church of Christ there are 
sufficient safeguards against the abuse of the power." 6 

This theory is in line with the Catholic teaching that both 
the private conscience and the conscience of the state are morally 
inferior to the conscience of the Church. The individual, accord- 
ing to this theory, does not have a right of free protest against 
the decisions of the Church. Pius IX, in his 1864 Syllabus of 
Errors, listed as one of the principal errors of modern times the 
belief that "every man is free to embrace and to profess that 
religion which, guided by the light of reason, he judges true." 7 

From this belief it is easy to go a little farther and declare that 
movements opposed to the Catholic "conscience" are not en- 
titled to full freedom. "The Roman Catholic Church," said 
Civilta Cattolica of Rome in April 1948, "convinced, through its 
divine prerogatives, of being the only true church, must demand 
the right of freedom for herself alone, because such a right can 
only be possessed by truth, never by error." Since Civilta Cat- 
tolica is the highest Jesuit organ in the world, the reaction in 


the United States to this pronouncement was one of alarm, espe- 
cially since the Jesuit magazine went on to declare that "in a 
state where the majority of the people are Catholic, the Church 
will require that legal existence be denied to error, and that 
if religious minorities actively exist, they shall have only a de 
facto existence without opportunity to spread their beliefs." 

Several American Catholic writers have expressed acute em- 
barrassment because of this famous article in Civilta Cattolica, 
but the Vatican has never repudiated it. Would the Catholic 
Church enforce such discrimination against American Protestants 
if it gained a majority in this country? The presumption is that 
it would. Father John Courtney Murray, a noted American 
Jesuit, has said: "It is probable that nothing has been written in 
decades better calculated to produce in the United States a blind 
reaction of total hostility to all things Catholic than the author's 
ruthlessfy simplifying paragraphs on the Church's 'unblushing 
intolerance.' " Father Murray tries valiantly to square the Ameri- 
can conception of freedom with that of the Vatican, and declares 
that "the totalitarian threat has made it clear that the freedom 
of the Church is ultimately linked to the freedom of the citizen; 
where one perishes, so does the other." But the official doctrine of 
the denial of freedom still stands. 

Two Spanish Jesuit writers, whose utterances have never been 
repudiated, have recently made it clear that European Catholi- 
cism still stands for the philosophy of coercion and unfortu- 
nately it is European Catholicism which determines the rules for 
American Catholicism. According to Father Pablo G. Lopez, 
S.J., in Razon y Fe t a Catholic government in a country where 
Catholicism is the religion of the state is obliged to see to it "that 
nothing is done in public contrary to the interests of the Church, 
either in the way of propaganda, manifestations, etc." And 
Father Lopez adds: 

Moreover, Spaniards discontented for religious reasons have no right 
to enjoy more ample religious freedom than they do enjoy. For one 
reason they are non-Catholics, and therefore in error; and error, even 
when in good faith, has strictly speaking no right to show itself or be 
professed. For another reason, the religious ideal of a tiny erring minority 
ought not to be respected in its public manifestations, when these gravely 
injure the Catholicism of the immense majority of the nation, and can be 
prevented without danger to peace. 


Another noted Spanish Jesuit has charged in the same maga- 
zine that freedom of religious propaganda would open the door 
to "international Jewry and Masonry" and reduce Spain to the 
cultural level of the "materialist and pagan Anglo-Saxon spirit"; 
and added, In praise of religious persecution: "Persecution in- 
flicted on heretics preserved the faith in France, when she was in 
danger from the Albigensians; preserved it too in Spain, when 
she was attacked by Lutheranism and other heresies." 8 Both of 
these Spanish Jesuits have been quoted by Father Murray with 
disapproval, but there is no indication that the Vatican disagrees 
with them or sides with Father Murray. 

In fact, these reactionary statements by European Catholics 
should not cause any surprise, because similar claims concerning 
the monopolistic nature of Vatican rights in respect to truth have 
been appearing in Catholic publications for years, in the United 
States. Father Francis J. Connell, dean of the School of Sacred 
Theology at the Catholic University of America, advocated the 
right to suppress non-Catholic activity in a Catholic country in an 
official Catholic publication in 1944, and praised the "doctrinal 
intolerance" (his own phrase) of the Church, declaring that 
Catholic governments "are justified in repressing written or 
spoken attacks on Catholicism, the use of the press or the mails to 
weaken the allegiance of Catholics toward their Church, and 
similar anti-Catholic efforts. For, by such activities, the faith of 
some of the Catholic citizens particularly the less educated 
might be unsettled and their loyalty to the Church destroyed. A 
Catholic government naturally looks at these happenings as grave 
evils of the spiritual order, from which citizens must be pro- 
tected, if possible." 9 It is interesting to compare Father Connell's 
statement with that of Andrei Vishinsky, which I have already 
quoted, to the effect that in the Communist state "there is and 
can be no place for freedom of speech, press and so on for the 
foes of Socialism." 

Both Father Connell's philosophy and that of Andrei Vishinsky 
are paralleled by Franco in Spain. The Catholic Spanish dictator 
expressed his philosophy on this subject to a United Press writer 
in 1947: 

The fact that our press and radio carry out certain patriotic and moral 
obligations doesn't mean that there is lack of freedom. There is no free- 


dom against the homeland or against morale. There is no freedom to be 

hostile toward or insult nations or chiefs of state abroad. There is, how- 
ever, freedom for all legitimate activity. 10 

Franco falls back on national morale as the excuse to suppress 
freedom. Father Cormell and Ms confreres in the most reac- 
tionary wing of the American Catholic Church plead "the spirit- 
ual interests of the Catholic citizens" as their justification. When 
Father Connell was challenged in 1949 by more liberal Catholic 
leaders, he replied (italics added) : 

I do not assert that the State has the right to repress religious error 
merely because it is error; but I believe that the State has the right of 
repression and limitation (although often it is not expedient to use it) 
when error is doing harm to the spiritual interests of the Catholic citi- 
zens. 1 ' 1 

Naturally the judgment as to whether any particular idea is "doing 
harm to the spiritual interests of the Catholic citizens" is arrived 
at exclusively by the Catholic hierarchy. 

The Vatican theory of cultural coercion by a church-state is 
made even clearer by one of Britain's greatest Catholics, Mon- 
signor Ronald A. Knox, in his The Belief of Catholics, published 
with official Imprimatur. Knox suggests that Catholic countries 
would be justified in using coercive measures in the future as 
they have in the past, and that Catholics have a right to demand 
freedom for themselves while denying it to others: 

Is it just, since thought is free, to penalize in any way differences of 
speculative outlook? Ought not every Church, however powerful, to act 
as a body corporate within the State, exercising no form of coercion ex- 
cept that of exclusion from its own spiritual privileges? It is very plain 
that this has not been the Catholic theory in times past. There has been, 
in Catholic nations, a definite alliance between the secular and the spiritual 
power. So, to be sure, has there been among Protestant nations. But may 
it be understood that in our enlightened age Catholics would repudiate 
the notion of any such alliance in future? 

It must be freely admitted that this is not so. You cannot bind over 
the Catholic Church, as the price of your adhesion to her doctrines, to 
waive all right of invoking the secular arm in defense of her own prin- 
ciples. The circumstances in which such a possibility could be realized are 
indeed sufficiently remote. You have to assume, for practical purposes, a 
country with a very strong Catholic majority, the overwhelming body of 
the nation. Probably (though not certainly) you would have to assume 
that the non-Catholic minority are innovators, newly in revolt against the 
Catholic system, with no ancestral traditions, no vested interests to be 


respected. Given such circumstances, is it certain that the Catholic Gov- 
ernment of the nation would have no right to insist on Catholic education 
being universal (which is a form of coercion), and even to deport or 
imprison those who unsettled the minds of its subjects with new doctrines? 

It is certain that the Church would claim that right for the Catholic 
Government, even if considerations of prudence forbade its exercise in 
fact. The Catholic Church will not be one amongst the philosophies. Her 
children believe, not that her doctrines may be true, but that they are 
true, and consequently part of the normal make-up of a man's mind; not 
even a parent can legitimately refuse such education to his child. They 
recognize, however, that such truths (unlike the mathematical axioms) 
can be argued against; that simple minds can easily be seduced by the 
sophistries of plausible error; they recognize, further, that the divorce be- 
tween speculative belief and practical conduct is a divorce in thought, 
not in fact; that the unchecked development of false theories results in 
ethical aberrations Anabaptism yesterday, Bolshevism today which 
are a menace even to the social order. And for those reasons a body of 
Catholic patriots, entrusted with the Government of a Catholic State, will 
not shrink even from repressive measures in order to perpetuate the 
secure domination of Catholic principles among their fellow-countrymen. 

It is frequently argued that if Catholics have at the back of their system 
such notions of "toleration," it is unreasonable in them to complain when 
a modern State restricts, in its turn, the political or educational liberty 
which they themselves wish to enjoy. What is sauce for the goose is 
sauce for the gander. The contention is ill-conceived. For when we 
demand liberty in the modern State, we are appealing to its own principles, 
not to ours. 12 

England's reaction to Monsignor Knox's frank speaking was 
highly critical. The same type of reasoning, it was pointed out, 
could have justified the Inquisition. Some commentators remem- 
bered Isaac Watts's maxim that a Christian can claim nothing 
which he is not prepared to concede to others. Many years later, 
when a new attack was made on Knox and his gospej of intoler- 
ance, the London Times remarked: "There is something in- 
tensely repugnant to the liberal mind in a coalition between priests 
and policemen for the maintenance of religion and virtue." 13 

Internal Censorship 

The doctrine that the Church has a right to use coercion to 
protect Catholics against cultural taint is enforced within the 
Catholic community by internal censorship. The Vatican's cen- 
sorship machine begins with books and extends to magazines, 
newspapers, motion pictures, and the radio. (It includes schools 


also, but I shall postpone discussion of that subject until the next 

"Literature/ 9 says the standard American book on canon law, 
"is morally bad if it endangers faith or morals, and no one has a 
'right' to publish such literature any more than one has a right 
to poison wells or sell tainted food." 14 "The Church," says the 
Catholic Almanac proudly, "has always denounced and repressed 
all literature tainted with moral evil." 15 Since the Catholic hier- 
archy creates its own definition of moral evil, many ideas and 
policies are condemned which seem to non-Catholics quite rea- 

In conformity with this policy, no Catholic is permitted to 
read any of the following classes of books, if he wishes to remain 
a good Catholic. (They are all described in the text and com- 
ments of Canons 1384 to 1405 of the Church's Code, and I shall 
list only part of them here.) 

1. Books which directly attack any major Catholic dogma. 

2. Books which attempt to overthrow Church discipline in any way. 

3. Books which oppose good morals, as interpreted by the Church. 

4. Bibles other than the Catholic Bible, and even the Catholic Bible 

when it is published by non-Catholics. 

5. Books which defend heresy in any way. 

6. Books which declare that divorce is sometimes legitimate. 

7. Books which favor contraceptives, but not the rhythm method of 

birth control. 

8. Books which justify the Masonic order as useful. 

9. Books describing new apparitions or miracles not yet approved 

by the Church. 

In the early days of the Inquisition, condemned books were 
burned indiscriminately. Occasionally there was some conflict in 
opinion about certain books, and a bishop in one diocese might 
burn a book which had been warmly praised by a bishop in 
another diocese. To prevent this kind of embarrassing conflict 
and provide uniform standards for book burning, Pope Paul IV 
finally authorized the Holy Office to prepare a systematic index 
of prohibited books. The first official list was published in 1559. 

For some time after that, the Catholic Index was fairly im- 
portant. Booksellers and publishers did not dare to defy its 
prohibitions. Then, with the spread of enlightenment and the 
growth of free education, cultured Catholics began to feel a 


certain sense of shame concerning a black list which attempted 
to suppress many of the world's greatest works of philosophy, 
literature, and science. They began to ask certain obvious ques- 
tions. Would any serious thinker be deterred from reading Kant, 
Bergson, and Tom Paine because some priests told him that it 
was a sin? Then why pretend that a medieval system of censor- 
ship could be carried over into a more enlightened period? 

Although the Vatican still keeps the Index going, few per- 
sons pay any attention to it 5 except Catholic professionals whose 
livelihood is at stake. Even Catholic governments do not dare 
to enforce its standards in nations which are solidly Catholic. 
In Italy, for example, with its Catholic population, the Christian 
Democrat (Catholic) regime completely ignores the Catholic 
Index and makes no attempt to suppress books which are listed 
on that Index. As I write these words in Rome, an amusing 
press controversy is raging between the Vatican and the Com- 
munists over the publication in serial form in a left-wing daily 
of Zola's famous novel Rome. The Vatican is scolding the left- 
wing press for publishing a book on the Index, and the left-wing 
press is scolding the Vatican for medieval prudery. Zola, of 
course, has been on the Index for decades, with all his works. 
The Italian people, in spite of their alleged 99 per cent Catholi- 
cism, would never think of permitting the Vatican to interfere 
with their desire to read Zola. 

A similar story can be told about priestly censorship in many 
countries. Educated Catholics tend to ignore it. The Holy 
Office, in many parts of the world, has been defeated by modern 
science and democracy. This, at least, is the net result of most 
of the censorship attempts of the Church in recent years. The 
Catholic Index is conspicuously alive only as a weapon to be 
used inside the Church, against liberal priests and Catholic pro- 
fessors in Italy and France. 

In Great Britain and the United States, the Church attempts 
to conceal its censorial apparatus as much as possible because 
of the conflict between Catholic censorship and democratic stand- 
ards of cultural freedom. The Index is practically never men- 
tioned in public in the west, and it is virtually impossible to buy 
a copy of it in western countries. Almost no books in the English 
language have been Indexed since 1 900. 


But, having once created an Index and having published cer- 
tain dogmatic judgments on many famous books, the Vatican 
feels obliged to continue the list. The titles now remaining offer 
a strange picture. Catholics are prohibited from reading a great 
many ancient and honorable classics which have been put away 
on the back shelves of libraries for many years. They must not 
read Hugo's Les Miserable^ or Notre-Dame de Paris, and they 
are also prohibited from scanning John Stuart Mill's Principles 
of Political Economy or John Wilkin's "Discovery of a new world 
or a discourse tending to prove that 'tis probable there may be 
another habitable world in the moon, with a discourse concern- 
ing the possibility of a passage thither." 16 

There are almost no heretical books written by non-Catholic 
writers on the Index, because the Vatican has been unable to 
keep up with the output of works of this type. Freud, Lenin, 
Stalin, Karl Marx, John Dewey, and Bertrand Russell are not 
even honored by name. Voltaire has more banned books on the 
list than any other author forty. On the whole, a writer's 
position on the Index seems to have almost no effect on his popu- 
larity. Benedetto Croce has been Indexed since 1934, but he 
continues to be one of the most influential authors in Catholic 


Press and Priests 

This type of censorship of reading matter is effective chiefly 
among priests, nuns, and the very ignorant. It is also effective 
in the Catholic press, which is as completely subordinate to the 
Vatican as the Communist press is subordinate to the Kremlin. 
The devout Catholic writer, Louis F. Budenz, in describing 
Kremlin thought control in the Communist movement when he 
was editor of the Daily Worker, said: "All the American Com- 
munist leaders with whom I became intimately acquainted had 
one common characteristic a form of fright." 17 The same 
generalization can be applied with equal truth to virtually all 
Catholic editors. In doctrinal matters they are afraid of their 
shadows, and they are never quite sure what matters of purely 
civic and political policy will be considered within the scope of 
papal discipline. They write on all controversial matters of be- 
lief as if a Vatican counterpart of Stalin's secret police were 
peering over their shoulders. And the counterpart is peering 


over their shoulders! He wears a priest's robe and tie speaks 
gently, but Ms refusal to stamp the censor's NiMl Obstat on the 
production of any priest or nun means silence or intellectual 

All Catholic publications, of course, are edited and written by 
men who are dependent for their livelihood on the organizations 
which own the publications. There is virtually no independent 
Catholic press anywhere in the world; nor are there, by defini- 
tion, any independent Catholic publishers. Officially a Catholic 
publisher is a publisher who accepts the requirement of canon 
law that his publications should be submitted for review to eccle- 
siastical authorities if they treat of any subject that might be 
considered doctrinal or moral. Every book, every issue of every 
official Catholic magazine, and every article produced by a priest 
or a nun, even for a non-Catholic journal, must have the ap- 
proval of a bishop or his agent. No Catholic editor or writer is 
free to disagree with the Catholic hierarchy on any doctrinal 
essential, whether it is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary bodily 
into heaven after her death, or the infallibility of the Pope, or 
the necessity of birth control in Italy. 

It is true that the control of thought in the Catholic system of 
power is supposed to cover only the fields of faith and morals, but 
around these fields are adjacent territories of sociology, philos- 
ophy, history, and medicine where ecclesiastical morals rule over 
scientific integrity. In practice the same thought control is exerted 
in some matters of political and scientific theory as in matters 
of devotional purity. A Catholic editor is no more free to advo- 
cate a humane divorce law than to write a defense of atheism. A 
Catholic scientific writer who suggests planned parenthood as a 
solution for the problem of overpopulation receives the same 
treatment accorded Galileo, except that he escapes physical con- 
finement. The control of editorial policy in Catholic newspapers 
and magazines is so pronounced that Catholic editorial pages are 
almost as deadly in their uniformity as the editorial pages of 
Communist journals. Key phrases and slogans are repeated over 
and over again. Ecclesiastical authorities are cited in almost 
every editorial. Whenever a positive new idea is suggested by 
a Catholic editor, he usually feels obliged to ascribe its origin 
to some Church leader in much the same way that Communist 


dialecticians ascribe their best thoughts to Lenin and Stalin. Per- 
haps one reason for this timidity among Catholic editors is that 
nearly all publications in the Catholic world are written and 
edited by priests, and frequently these priests are subjected to 
the double discipline of the Vatican and their own religious 

Even the letter pages of American Catholic papers almost 
never contain a direct challenge to any major Vatican doctrine 
or policy. In fact, the limit of Catholic independence on letter 
pages is quite similar to that in the Soviet press. It is never 
possible, for example, to find even in the Catholic correspondence 
columns any direct criticism of the Church's doctrine on birth 
control or the Church's practices in the manufacture of saints, al- 
though these doctrines and practices are probably criticized 
privately by more millions of educated Catholics than any other 
tenets of the Church. 

Probably the most devastating effect of the system of internal 
censorship is noticeable in the cultural output of priests and 
nuns. In a sense the censorship system in the United States takes 
about 40,000 priests out of cultural circulation by putting them 
in anti-scientific strait jackets. Their intellectual independence 
is completely destroyed. In fact, thejiterature produced by the 
American Catholic priesthood is a dreary wasteland 'of unimagi- 
native conformity, more dreary even than typical Communist 
propaganda. Most Communist diatribes, no matter how fanatical 
and misguided, disguss^erious problems with a certain boldness 
and dash, and demonstrate a deep concern with social injustice 
except the injustice of the Russian Communist regime. 

Much of the priestly output of the Church in the United 
States is incredibly immature and unreal. Every priestly sermon, 
pamphlet, or book must arrive at one terminus, the current posi- 
tion of the Vatican concerning the subject discussed. Variety of 
opinion is never permitted in respect to the fundamenfals~"of 
Churcfi^pblicy. The most patent ecclesiastical frauds in the fields 
of relics and apparitions must be accepted without a murmur. 
A priest, scientist, or editor who challenged any of the Vatican's 
devices for exploiting relics would receive essentially the same 
treatment meted out to the critics of Lysenko. Actually the 
Vatican's control over its priests is so complete that there has not 


even been a parallel to the Lysenko incident in Catholic circles 
for several generations because there is no opportunity for move- 
ments of scientific protest within the priesthood. Any suggestions 
of intellectual rebellion are eliminated by pre-censorship. The 
Church permits no free and independent associations of Catholic 
intellectuals where a dissident movement might gain a foothold. 

Strangely enough, American priests have been among the most 
docile in accepting Vatican cultural controls. An American 
priest, Father T. T. McAvoy, was able to boast in the Review of 
Politics in January 1948 that "there has never been a real heresy 
during the three centuries and more of Catholic life within the 
boundaries of the present United States." It is true that some 
American bishops in 1870 protested privately against the im- 
position of the doctrine of papal infallibility upon the Church by 
Pius IK for reasons of expediency, but they did not challenge it 
openly when the doctrine had finally been promulgated, and 
there was no movement for secession in the United States. Dur- 
ing the years since World War I, when American priests have 
been continuously asserting their faith in democracy, not one 
has publicly declared himself in favor of the democratization of 
the Vatican, or protested against the fact that the American 
Catholic clergy have for years been refused permission to hold 
a plenary council. Their professions of belief in democracy are 
never applied consistently to their own Church. 

European priests have been more courageous in resisting the 
system of thought control more courageous but not more suc- 
cessful. The European modernist movement, which arose inside 
the Church about the turn of the century, promptly collapsed 
when Piux X subjected it to a disciplinary reign of terror. The 
famous British Jesuit, Father George Tyrrell, was excommuni- 
cated in 1907, largely for criticizing a bitterly reactionary ency- 
clical of Pius X in two articles in the London Times. The bril- 
liant Italian scholar, Father Ernesto Buonaiuti, professor of the 
history of Christianity at the University of Rome, was excom- 
municated without trial in 1923 by decree of the Inquisition for 
writing an unorthodox article on the Eucharist, although the 
official Church censor had passed the article. Alfred Loisy, the 
Church's great modernist French scholar, saw his works con- 
demned by the Index because his biblical exegesis was too 


advanced, and then he was excommunicated in 1908. 18 The 
modernist movement within the Church was too weak to protect 
him, but it had made such great headway among the French 
people that Loisy scored a national triumph in spite of Ms ex- 
communication. The French government offered him the chair 
of Comparative Religion at the University of Paris. Could any- 
one imagine a similar offer being made to an excommunicated 
priest by a public university in the United States? 

One reason why American priests do not assert their American 
rights of free discussion within the Catholic system is that they 
are screened early in their careers by a special intellectual filter 
designed by Pius X. Pius X not only demanded that all bishops 
exercise great vigilance in examining books before publication, 
but he also directed the establishment in each diocese of a council 
"to watch carefully the teachings of innovators." In order to help 
this thought-control council, Pius imposed on all the clergy and 
on Catholic teachers a special anti-modernist oath, and this oath, 
imposed by edict, is still obligatory for the clergy of the whole 
world. 19 It is not merely a loyalty oath, it is an opinion-controlling 
oath. In four hundred words it commits every priest without 
qualification to the acceptance of two of the most reactionary 
and anti-scientific pronouncements ever issued by the Church 
the Lamentabili and the Pascendi of Pius X. It outlaws all ex- 
pressions of skepticism and prevents any theological student or 
priest who wishes to remain orthodox from harboring any notion 
that the "spiritual or religious activity of man" can possibly be 
a substitute for Catholic dogma. It pledges every priest to avoid 
the use of the principles of evolution in interpreting the Scrip- 
tures. It eliminates from Catholic life every priest, student, or 
professor who might have liberal cultural tendencies, and it is 
still imposed annually on every professor or lecturer in every 
Catholic seminary throughout the world at the beginning of each 
year's work. Even veteran parish priests are required to take the 
oath anew whenever they start work in a new parish. 

The Lay Mind 

The Vatican's control of the Catholic lay mind is much less 
successful than its control of priests, and also much less rigorous. 
In the United States, particularly, the Church has met complete 


failure in attempting to suppress critical writings among baptized 
lay Catholics. Some of the most vigorous and independent 
writers of America are ex-Catholics who have broken away from 
priestly control. For the literary men who have chosen to stay 
behind in the confines of the Church, the policy of censorship is 
stultifying and oppressive. The Catholic novelist, Harry Sylves- 
ter, has pointed out in the A tlantic Monthly how heavily Church 
controls weigh upon the sensitive creative mind. "Why," he asked, 
"have we produced a group of meechers and propagandists, who 
are Catholics, however nominal, before they are people, and 
whose principal concern seems to be not to write truly but to 
win ecclesiastical approbation?" "There is," he said, "no na- 
tional literary or artistic group whose mediocrity is quite so 
monolithic as that of the Gallery of Living Catholic Authors." 20 

An almost equally severe judgment was delivered against Brit- 
ish Catholic authors, who must work under the Catholic censor- 
ship, by Michael de la Bedoyere, editor of the British Catholic 
Herald: "If," he said, "we apply the test of suitable spiritual 
reading for enclosed Religious women to the novel, we shall of 
course simply cease to produce novels worth the name. And that, 
expressed in an exaggerated way, is our tendency when we re- 
view such subjects as literature, art, the drama, the' cinema and 
the like. ... No wonder that there is no Catholic fiction or 
drama or art worthy of the name it is only too easily accorded!" 21 

In the world of Catholic book publishing, a system of pre- 
ventive censorship is used which is applied to manuscripts before 
they go to press. All Catholic publishers are obligated under 
Canon 1385 to submit Manuscripts to ecclesiastical authorities 
in advance of publication if these manuscripts treat of moral, 
doctrinal, or devotional matters. This is a very wide area of 
control, and its limits are distressingly vague. The leaders of the 
hierarchy are especially insistent upon exercising their authority 
over any manuscript which questions the Vatican's centralized 
power or which discusses such controversial subjects as birth 
control or divorce with any independent candor. The rule of 
pre-censorship before publication applies even when both the 
author and the publisher are laymen and when the manuscript 
seems "to favor piety." 22 If the author is a priest, his manuscript 
must be submitted for pre-publication censorship even if it treats 


only of fly-fishing or wind velocity. And even if a Catholic 
author's articles are perfectly correct on moral and theological 
grounds, they must not be submitted for publication to any maga- 
zine which consistently criticizes Vatican policies. Jacques Mari- 
tain, famous French Catholic philosopher, who had written 
many articles over a period of years for The Nation, conspicu- 
ously withdrew in 1950 his permission for that magazine to 
describe him as a contributor, all because it had published (un- 
repentanfly) my articles on Vatican social policy. 

The Church's machinery for preventive censorship of the 
literary output of Catholics is maintained by each bishop in his 
diocese, and every sanctioned work, upon publication, must 
bear the bishop's badge of approval in the form of a stamp by 
the priest-censor (Nihil Obstat), and the final permission to 
print, the Imprimatur. Since the priest-censor of each diocese is 
appointed by the bishop, he is held responsible to the bishop for 
checking carefully the manuscripts of books to be published in 
the diocese. 

Since the republication in recent years of many shockingly 
reactionary statements of Catholic prelates which have been 
issued with a bishop's Imprimatur, American Catholic leaders 
have been much embarrassed and have been attempting to play 
down the significance of the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur on the 
fly leaves of Catholic books. These stamps, they declare, are not 
proofs of approval of everything contained in the works. That 
is true; but they are proofs that the work so stamped contains no 
theological error. The bishops themselves may stamp their Im- 
primaturs upon works with very little scrutiny, but the censors 
of each diocese are obliged by canon law to read all works care- 
fully and guarantee that they are not heretical or incorrect. Bous- 
caren and Ellis in their Canon Law, page 717, say that the censor 
in each case must "clearly approve the publication as regards 
soundness of doctrine." 

Even non-Catholic publishers in the United States usually 
observe the conventions of this pre-censorship system by sending 
manuscripts in advance of publication to Catholic critics if those 
manuscripts treat of Vatican doctrine or policy. In countries like 
Spain this internal system of censorship is strong enough to pre- 
vent the publication of any book on the Index. 23 In the United 


States the system usually elimi*,;Jes all books directly critical of 
the Catholic hierarchy from the lists of America's leading pub- 
lishers. Fortunately for America's self-respect, there are still in 
the nation a number of courageous publishers who are more in- 
terested in freedom of thought than in conformity and success. 

The External Censorship 

Naturally, the Church cannot exercise strict supervision over 
the publication of critical material written by non-Catholics and 
published in predominantly non-Catholic countries. In general, 
its only effective weapon for suppressing criticism in non-Catholic 
countries is the boycott or the threat of the boycott. The punitive 
boycott is usually directed against editors, booksellers, publishers, 
librarians, and motion-picture producers through the mechanism 
of group pressure. Sometimes the pressure takes the form of 
public denunciation from a Catholic pulpit; sometimes, as in 
Catholic Ireland, it takes the form of legal suppression by the 
state of books which are displeasing to the hierarchy. Sometimes 
the Catholic hierarchy has more restrictive power over cultural 
freedom in a nominally non-Catholic country like the United 
States than it has in France, which is claimed by the Vatican as 
Catholic domain. The strength of Catholic thought control in a 
country does not depend upon the number of Catholics in a 
nation but on the organization of those Catholics into a militant 
cultural bloc in the community. 

The principle of Catholic censorship is always the same; the 
tactics vary according to the country and the medium of informa- 
tion used. Censorship of films is conducted throughout the world 
by official committees of priests, working under slight disguises, 
such as the Legion of Decency in the United States or the Centro 
Cattolico Cinematografico in Rome. In completely Catholic 
countries like Spain, the censorship virtually destroys all public 
criticism of Vatican policy. In Spain no motion picture may be 
exhibited in the whole nation which does not have the official 
approval of the official censor of the Church. The Spanish cen- 
sorship of drama is almost as severe. Only one performance of 
an uncensored play is permitted, and that is permitted only in 
private clubs. The Spanish Church operates five daily newspapers 
and more than four hundred other periodicals, and a "religious 


assessor" from the Church Is attached to every newspaper in the 
country. 24 

In Italy, on the other hand, the Church's censorship powers 
have never recovered from the long period of comparative free- 
dom between 1870, when the Kingdom of Italy conquered the 
Vatican in battle, and 1922, when Mussolini came into power. 
In Italy today the intellectuals are openly contemptuous of ^ the 
Church's literary and artistic standards, and Italian motion- 
picture theaters are currently showing at least five times as many 
Catholic-condemned films as American producers are showing 
in the United States. On September 2, 1950, the Catholic Action 
daily in Rome, Quotidiano, advertised sixteen motion-picture 
programs appearing in Rome all of which were rated "E" or 
"excluded" by the Vatican counterpart of the American Legion 
of Decency. 25 

Of course the principle of the retributive boycott of persons 
who circulate "anti-Catholic" opinions is a very old principle in 
the Catholic system of power. Pope Paul IV, about the middle 
of the sixteenth century, inaugurated the policy that the Vatican 
should boycott not only bad books but bad printers. He laid 
down the rule that no printer who had published a banned book 
should ever again be patronized by Catholic readers. The Inqui- 
sition enforced the rule that the burden of proof was upon any 
person who came into possession of a heretical book, and failed 
to burn it immediately or surrender it to his bishop within eight 
days. 26 

Sometimes the censorial policies of the Vatican in respect to 
news are more stupid than deliberate. In spite of all its successes 
in the field of pageantry, the Vatican is singularly inept and 
secretive in its techniques of public relations. It fails to tell the 
world adequately of its own activities. The publicity material 
which it gives to the press is almost nonexistent. Able journalists 
assigned by the world's great newspapers to Rome are almost 
completely frustrated by the Vatican's policy of withholding all 
candid comment on controversial matters. The New York Times, 
which has been more successful than any other world newspaper 
in persuading the Vatican to talk, recently revealed some of its 
difficulty in a candid paragraph, carried in an advertisement in 
Editor & Publisher: 


As for Vatican coverage, suppose you were covering Washington with- 
out benefit of press conferences or press releases other than copies of 
speeches already delivered. Suppose every government official were sworn 
never to permit any unauthorized person to peep behind the scenes, and 
that the entire government was a completely disciplined and compact 
mechanism carrying out with unquestioning obedience the will of the 
President. Suppose, finally, that these officials, from top to bottom, felt 
that their mission transcended all earthly considerations, and knew they 
could always command a world audience without the aid of the press if 
they desired. That, roughly, is the job of covering the Vatican. 27 

Outside of the Soviet orbit the reaction of most editors to 
Vatican secrecy and silence is very charitable. Catholic power 
is sufficiently great throughout the western world to prevent 
independent editors from hostile comment, and news about Vati- 
can activity is treated with special kindness. The most reactionary 
papal utterances are either printed without comment by the great 
standard journals or, if there is any opportunity for encomiums, 
lauded in the most circumspect and deferential manner. The 
deference and the absence of criticism may, in effect, be a serious 
distortion of truth about Catholic policy. Even the newspapers 
which print the truth and nothing but the truth about the more 
reactionary phases of Catholic policy rarely speak the whole 

Two illustrations of affirmative and negative distortion may 
be taken from the New York Times, one of the world's most 
accurate and valuable news organs. The Times has rendered a 
great public service in exposing the repressive tactics of the 
Church in Spain through the dispatches of two of its top cor- 
respondents, Cyrus L. Sulzberger and Sam Pope Brewer, but 
at home its policy is at times inexplicably timid and vacillating. 
Probably no Catholic cardinal ever directly threatened the edi- 
tor of the Times with reprisals for telling the truth about Catholic 
policy, but the pressure of Catholic influence upon that august 
journal in recent years has produced some flagrant shadings of 
the news, and it has resulted in the suppression of honest expres- 
sions of critical thought concerning Catholic policy. 

At a time after World War II when the Vatican was attempting 
to rehabilitate itself in the esteem of democratic nations after a 
long period of tolerance for fascism, the Times published a short 
speech by Pius XII to an American trade delegation in Rome, 


and dressed it up as both an endorsement of democracy and a 
denunciation of dictatorship. The story is relatively unimportant, 
as the Pope's speech was unimportant, but it would be difficult 
to find a more eloquent illustration of the way in which a great 
newspaper may favor the Vatican in its news columns. This is 
the story, exactly as it was published, heading and all, in the issue 
of October 2, 1947: 


Rome, Oct. 1 Pope Pius today praised democratic government and 
condemned totalitarianism in a brief address to members of the United 
States foreign trade parliamentary committee, who were here investigating 
conditions in Italy. 

It was clear to some of those present at the private audience in Castel 
Gandolfo that the Pontiff was referring to the Government in the United 
States as contrasted with the Government in Russia. 

The Pope's address follows: 

"Your presence, honorable members of Congress, naturally suggests to 
our mind the importance of government and the very grave responsibility 
resting on those whose duty it is to govern a nation. The art of governing 
justly has never been easy for human nature to learn. 

"To exploit the common people for the benefit of one individual or 
group is a temptation to ambitious men who have little conscience to 
check them; but that is not to govern. Nero's despotism was not govern- 
ment but oppression. 

"A just government recognizes that its own power is limited by the 
basic human liberties of those who are governed and it succeeds only 
when each one is ready for personal sacrifice in the interest of all. 

"What is true of a single nation may be applied to the larger family of 
nations, which today especially cannot escape close proximity and inter- 
dependence. A just and equitable exercise of legitimate government holds 
the key to the peace of the world. To that noble purpose the world is 
more and more restless to attain it we devote all our energies, our 
prayers, our work." 

It should be noted that there is not a line in the Pope's speech 
specifically praising democracy or condemning totalitarianism. 
The speech could very well have been made by any benevolent 
prince or dictator giving lip service to "basic human liberties." 
In fact, at the moment the Pope made this speech, he was giving 
strong diplomatic support to at least three basically totalitarian 
Catholic regimes in Spain, Portugal, and Argentina. 

The second illustration from the New York Times appeared in 
that journal on April 9, 1950. A responsible reviewer, Philip 


Toynbee, had reviewed a book by Lionel Trilling called The 
Liberal Imagination, and the review, after being approved by a 
responsible book-review editor, was published in the Sunday 
Times book section. The book section goes to press several days 
ahead of the standard Sunday edition, which contains the edi- 
torials and current news. Toynbee's review contained one casual 
sentence about Catholic reactions to liberal culture: "We are 
all too familiar with the facile and vitriolic attacks on liberal and 
democratic culture made by Roman Catholics and members of 
the political right." That was all. No educated person could 
doubt the truth of the sentence there are plenty of such at- 
tacks on liberal culture by Catholic writers. But the mere state- 
ment of such an elementary truth, buried unobtrusively in a 
scholarly review, caused the president and publisher of the Times 
to write and publish in the same issue with the offending sentence 
an editorial retraction, apologizing for the statement and rebuking 
the book-section editor for not eliminating it. Here is the edi- 
torial in full: 


In today's issue of the Book Review, in a review by Philip Toynbee of a 
book by Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination, there appears a reference 
to Roman Catholics that obviously should not have been made. Every 
reviewer has the right to express his opinion and that opinion is his 
rather than the opinion of the Times. The editor, however, has the re- 
sponsibility to delete statements that are inaccurate or offensive. That 
responsibility should have been exercised in this case. Unfortunately, it 
was not and the offending sentence was not detected until after the press 
run of the Book Section had been completed. 

Naturally, all fundamental hostile criticism of any group in 
society is "offensive" to that group. If the limits of criticism 
suggested in this editorial should be imposed upon all discussion 
of Catholic power in the United States, the American press would 
be no more able to speak frankly about the Vatican than the 
Russian press can speak about the Kremlin. 

In the United States, Catholic power also controls advertising 
sufficiently to eliminate from most leading papers, magazines, and 
radio programs any mention of works critical of Catholic policy. 
An American publisher cannot even buy space for advertising an 
"anti-Catholic" book in several of the leading agencies of Ameri- 
can information. There is even a taboo against any suggestion 


in American advertising that might in any way conflict with 
Catholic theories. On December 24, 1950, the American Textile 
Company published in the New York Times Magazine a small 
picture of Joan of Arc, looking rather voluptuous and coy in a 
suit of armor, spurs, and helmet, with an inscription beneath the 
picture: "Joan of Arc might never have gotten so burned up 
had she but known The Lure of Laces by Ametex." A week 
later, on December 3 1 , the company published in the Times an 
abject apology headed "Nostra Maxima Culpa": "We wrote the 
ad in all innocence and meant no offense, since we were consider- 
ing her [Joan of Arc] as the great historical figure she was rather 
than as the great Saint she is. ... We are sorry, and it won't 
happen again." 

The Kremlin and the Vatican versus 
the Public School 

WE HAVE EXAMINED Kremlin and Vatican thought control in the 
last two chapters as if they existed in separate compartments. 
In one respect these organizations occupy the same battlefield, 
the battlefield of education; and on that battlefield democracy, 
Catholicism, and Communism are all engaged in a deadly struggle 
for the mind of the coming generations. 

The struggle for control of schools is far more important than 
anything I have described in the last chapter. As the public 
school goes, so will go the future of democratic society. The 
Kremlin believes in partisan Communist education, and the Vati- 
can believes in partisan Catholic education, and each is hostile 
to the non-partisan public school. Only a powerful and informed 
democracy can preserve the institution from impairment or ruin 
by these two hostile and competing organizations. These words 
may seem to be unduly alarmist in their tenor, but I believe that a 
review of the world-wide school battle will justify an alarmist 
view. It may be well to transfer our attention from Europe for a 
moment and look at the stake of American democracy in the 
school struggle. 

The free public school, supported by all the community and 
open without discrimination to children of all faiths, has now 
become an established part of the American way of life. Most 
Americans would regard it as unthinkable that an American 
public school should be subject to the control of any political 
party or church. It is true that in some sections of our country, 



notably in the southern states, public schools are not free from 
racial discrimination, and the teaching on many subjects is not 
free from racial bias. This shortcoming, however, is primarily 
regional rather than national, and it is not the fault of the public 
school itself. 

On the whole, we are proud that our American public school 
is the most democratic institution in a democratic nation. No 
political party dictates our textbooks; no church enters the class- 
room during the regular hours of school to indoctrinate the chil- 
dren with denominational dogma; and very few public-school 
teachers owe their appointments to partisan favor or religious 
conformity. Pressure groups, representing vested interests and 
fanaticism, occasionally impair freedom of teaching in an Ameri- 
can community, but such lapses are rare. Most American cities, 
towns, and villages strenuously resist any policy which seems 
to destroy the freedom of teaching in an American classroom, and 
the American people take it for granted that educational self- 
government is one of the nation's most precious possessions. 

Almost all Americans accept two basic traditions concerning 
the control of education that the responsibility for control 
should rest with the local community, and that the schools should 
be free from sectarian strife. The experience of European coun- 
tries with church-controlled education impressed our forefathers 
unfavorably. They decided that they should have a school system 
which represented all the people, which was paid for by all the 
people, and which was open to the children of all the people 
without discrimination. That decision was probably the most 
important decision ever made by Americans for American cul- 

It is true that the public-school system has many defects. It 
is underequipped in countless ways. It frequently overemphasizes 
American nationalism and discriminates against new ideas of 
social reconstruction. But this is a failing common to democratic 
institutions. National majorities do not like to have the opinions 
of national minorities propagated through the schools. The very 
fact that our schools are controlled by a majority of the people 
tends to make the loyalties and prejudices of the dominant ma- 
jority the norm of education. And who has a better right to 
determine the norm of education than the majority? 


One unspoken assumption behind this American public-school 
system is that the human mind should be left free to examine life 
fearlessly and arrive at honest conclusions. Truth, it is assumed, 
is something discovered by search. Apparent error must be 
examined with candor because it might prove, upon examination, 
to be the truth. No areas of life should be exempt from human 
curiosity. No outside institution should be permitted to tell the 
teacher or the student what are the limits of reason and curiosity 
in physics, politics, or ethics. Above all, no alien hierarchy or 
foreign power should be permitted to impose its cultural or 
moral strait jacket on an American public school. 

All these fundamental principles are commonplaces in Ameri- 
can education, but it is astonishing how few Americans have 
applied them as tests to both the Catholic and the Communist 
conceptions of education. It is apparent on the face of the record 
that both Catholic and Communist theories of education are op- 
posed to the American concept of the public school. 

Education a la Kremlin 

The present rulers of the Kremlin have always been in favor 
of "education," and the development of a comprehensive school 
system has been one of their chief aims. Nominally, the Soviet 
Constitution of 1936 gives every Soviet citizen "the right of 
education," primarily at state expense, and this could represent 
a great forward step from the days of Tsarist control. 

Opinions differ as to the extent of illiteracy in Russia in 1917 
when the Bolsheviks took power. The Bolsheviks did not inherit 
an entirely illiterate nation, but the Russian masses were cer- 
tainly underprivileged in everything that constituted culture. 
Chamberlin puts the illiteracy rate at 60 per cent in 1917, and 
declares that even in the late 1920's some 69 per cent of the 
people between 16 and 34 were illiterate. 1 Before the revolution 
the government had adopted a program, to be completed in 1922, 
for compulsory primary education, and when the Bolsheviks 
came into power, they acquired a school system that had reached 
about 70 per cent' of the children of school age for at least a few 
years of schooling. 2 

The Communist movement quickly transformed this school 
system for its own purposes. Bolshevik leaders went outside the 


regular school system and conducted great campaigns, in the 
army, in trade unions, and in peasant groups, against illiteracy 
among both adults and children. They extended elementary edu- 
cation to the masses with such vigor and persistence that they 
claim today to reach 34,000,000 children and young people in 
the various branches of their educational system. They have 
made education free and compulsory up to the seventh grade. 
From 1936 to 1940 they provided free higher education also, 
but they have now amended the 1936 Constitution and inaugu- 
rated a system of tuition fees for college training and for the last 
two years of secondary education. 3 

Probably the Russian Communists have done more in a single 
generation to overcome illiteracy among their 200,000,000 sub- 
jects than the Vatican has done for its people since the Middle 
Ages. In the first twenty-two years of that stormy and troubled 
generation, the Russians reduced illiteracy to less than one-third 
of its 1917 level it stood at 19 per cent in the 1939 census, 
and it is probably much lower today. 4 

The relative illiteracy in Catholic countries with Catholic 
school systems Spain and Portugal are illustrations is a 
shocking commentary on the cultural zeal of the two organiza- 
tions. When the Vatican was reaching the end of its reign as a 
major temporal power in Italy, the statistics of 1866 showed that 
Italy was still 78 per cent illiterate and that in priest-dominated 
Naples the illiteracy was 90 per cent. Professor Salo Baron has 
pointed out that the Catholic Church in Europe did very little 
to overcome illiteracy except when it was faced with secular 
competition from public schools, as in France; and that at the 
turn of the century the two most illiterate nations in Europe 
were both Catholic Portugal and Italy. 5 Italy made tre- 
mendous strides in education as soon as it was free from papal 
domination in 1870, but it could not be expected to work a cul- 
tural transformation in thirty years. 

Victor Hugo, in a remarkable and rather undiscriminating 
burst of rage against the Church's nineteenth-century indifference 
to culture for the European masses, declared that the priests 
"claim the liberty of teaching. . . . It is the liberty of not teach- 
ing." And he added, addressing the priests directly: 
You wisti us to give you the people to instruct. Very well. Let us see 


your pupils. Let us see what you have produced* What have you done 
for Italy? What have you done for Spain? For centuries you have kept in 
your hands, at your discretion, at your school, these two great nations, 
illustrious among the illustrious. 

What have you done for them? I shall tell you. 

Thanks to you, Italy, whose name no man who thinks can any longer 
pronounce without inexpressible filial emotions Italy, mother of genius 
and of nations, which has spread over all the universe all the most brilliant 
man-els of poetry and the arts, Italy which has taught mankind to read 
now knows not how to read! Yes, Italy is of all the states of Europe 
that one where the smallest number know how to read. 

Spain, magnificently endowed Spain, which received from the Romans 
her first civilization; from the Arabs her second civilization; from Provi- 
dence and in spite of you, a world, America Spain, thanks to you, a 
yoke of stupor which is a yoke of degradation and decay. 6 

The relative position of Catholic countries on the world's lit- 
eracy chart is still strikingly low, and the most Catholic sections 
of Europe Spain, Portugal, southern Italy, and pre-revolution- 
ary Poland have continued to appear near the bottom. 7 I 
point out this fact by way of interpolation because too often the 
Catholic critics of Communism seem to assume that the Vatican 
stands for learning and the Kremlin for cultural barbarism* Inci- 
dentally, the over-all proportion of illiteracy in predominantly 
Catholic countries today is at least five times the proportion in 
predominantly Protestant countries. 

The Communists have not been as successful in dealing with 
higher education as with elementary schools. They have provided 
a complete system of public education from the kindergarten to 
the university, but their record in the fields of higher learning 
has been far from creditable. The professors of the old Russian 
universities under the Tsar had been relatively independent, even 
though the universities were official state universities. After 
the revolution, all independence was destroyed and standards fell 
sharply. Every professor in the universities who wished to con- 
tinue teaching had to be re-elected to his post by a committee 
which operated on the principle that no teacher, even a teacher 
of classics or mathematics, was fit to teach in the new Russia 
unless he accepted the socialist ideal enthusiastically. 8 Partisan 
political control did not prove any more rational under Com- 
munism than it would have been under Tsarism. Although the 
universities have recovered some of their earlier standards of 


discipline in recent years, they are still far below western demo- 
cratic levels of scientific scholarship. 

The tragedy in the Russian educational success story is that 
while the Soviet Union has been moving forward in the mechanics 
of education it has moved backward in educational freedom. 
It has achieved political control of education in the worst mean- 
ing of that phrase. The control over schools is exercised by a 
centralized Communist political machine which is not answer- 
able to the people of any community and which is primarily 
concerned not with free culture but with the production of little 

"To whom do you owe your happy childhood?" ask the Rus- 
sian kindergarten teachers of their little four-year-olds. "To Com- 
rade Stalin, hurrah!" they shout back. That is what John Fischer 
of Harper's heard when he visited a Russian kindergarten in 
1945, and it epitomizes the whole Soviet system of education. 9 
H. G. Wells was told by Stalin in 1934: "Education is a weapon 
whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom 
it is aimed. In Russia the Communists hold the educational gun 
and it is aimed at 'bourgeois culture.' " 10 The word "objectivity" 
is openly jeered at in educational circles as an outmoded bour- 
geois concept. From the moment that a child enters kinder- 
garten, he is taught that "Communist" and "good" are equivalent 
moral terms, and that "capitalist" is synonymous with evil. 

Every textbook in every Soviet school must be reviewed and 
edited by a Communist Party official or committee in order to 
eliminate any possible suggestion which might be opposed to 
Stalin or Ms ideas. Simultaneously, the children must be taught 
that their school system is the best in the world. "Only in the 
Soviet Union," said a Soviet minister of education in 1947, "is 
the school genuinely democratic and humanistic." When the 
Soviet minister came to discuss American education in this same 
statement, he said: "Everything is for sale and everything is to be 
bought. Whatever brings profit is moral. Such is the code of 
morality cultivated in the American school. Such is the true 
content of bourgeois education." u 

Naturally, every teacher in this Soviet school system must 
conform to Communist policies or lose his position. There is 
no independent system of schools to which a rebellious teacher 


can torn if he loses his position in the state schools. There is no 
forum which can guarantee him a hearing for his grievances, no 
newspaper which wiH print an unbiased account of his martyr- 
dom. Teachers' unions in the Soviet system are, like all Russian 
labor organizations, dominated by the Communist party. Their 
interest in academic freedom ends where Party discipline begins. 

This tight control extends to the universities, especially in 
those fields of thought in which Communist pundits have promul- 
gated a dogma. Even the highest department heads must 
accept dictation from a Communist Party agent without a mur- 
mur. Marxism-Leninism must be the guiding principle of all 
university training, just as the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas 
must be the guide of all philosophical culture in the Catholic 
system. There is no such person in the whole Soviet educa- 
tional system as a capitalist professor, since, by definition, a 
capitalist professor would be an enemy of the state. This latter 
fact is not usually emphasized by Communists in the United 
States when they demand freedom for anti-capitalist professors 
in American universities. 

The Communists have not been content with standard schools 
to impress their outlook upon the Russian mind. They have 
established a whole network of special schools for adults, de- 
signed to equip those adults for effective participation in the 
Soviet system of power. There are propaganda and training 
schools for youths, designed to turn youthful energy into Com- 
munist channels. There are training schools for adult Communist 
agitators, headed by an Academy of Social Sciences which trains 
Party workers for central Party institutions. In the far-flung 
Soviet empire outside of Russia, the Communist parties of various 
nations establish training institutions in Marxism-Leninism to 
aid in the revolution. Frequently, as in the United States, these 
Party training schools assume the names of venerable local 
patriots in order to camouflage their essential purpose. In New 
York, for example, the Communist school of propaganda was 
called the Jefferson School of Social Science; in Boston, it was 
the Samuel Adams School; in Chicago, the Abraham Lincoln 

George Counts, noted American educator, and Nucia P. 
Lodge, in their little book, I Want to Be Like Stalin, have trans- 


lated and edited for American consumption selected parts of a 
Soviet manual on pedagogy which reveals in startling fashion 
the methods by which the Kremlin controls the minds of Russian 
school children. The Communists are quite unabashed in im- 
posing their whole doctrine in every Soviet classroom. They 
read Marx into mathematics as blithely as they read Mm into 
music. Mathematics, according to the manual, "must reflect our 
socialist reality"; "physical education in our school is most inti- 
mately related to the cultivation of communist morality"; "Com- 
rade Stalin and the Soviet Government watch over every Soviet 
person." Substantial uniformity of textbooks throughout Russia 
has been imposed by the Party on the schools through a textbook 
committee headed by Stalin himself. Every textbook must give 
"full support to the Communist direction." 

Behind these techniques of indoctrination, as Professor Counts 
has pointed out, lies the theory that there is no such thing as 
neutral or non-partisan education, and that in the past "education 
has always been the servant of the ruling class." The school 
which stands outside of politics is "a lie and a hypocrisy." The 
teacher who challenges the partisan conception of education is 
considered anti-social and a menace to Soviet culture. If he 
persists in a rebellious attitude he is branded as a criminal and 
sent to a forced-labor camp. 

It is natural that this type of control in the schools should 
be accompanied by a new emphasis upon repressive measures 
for the discipline of students. Communists would claim that the 
rigid measures are entirely justified. To those who are interested 
in progressive standards, however, they seem very old-fashioned 
and even reactionary. Every Soviet child must memorize para- 
graph by paragraph a set of rules of conduct in much the same 
manner in which a Catholic child is compelled to memorize Ms 
Catechism. He must observe every rule in the Communist rule 
book. He must "rise as the teacher or the director enters or 
leaves the classroom." He must remove his hat on the street even 
to a male teacher. He must begin his military training in the 
fourth year of the elementary school. Co-education was abolished 
in the Soviet school system in 1943 as one step in the "new 

As Communist power has moved westward in Europe, the 


Soviet conception of Communist-controlled education has been 
Imposed on ail the satellite countries. Catholic schools have 
been closed in many countries and the students transferred, not 
to a neutral or non-partisan public school, but to the school of 
another dogmatic religion, that of the Kremlin, masquerading 
as a public school. The educational pattern in the new Hungary, 
Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany is as near 
as possible to that of the Soviet Union itself. In these schools 
Stalin has become as much a symbol of goodness and intelligence 
as the Pope has been traditionally in the Catholic schools, and 
the dogmatic compulsions are even more severe than in the Catho- 
lic schools. 

In non-Communist countries Communist tactics in education 
are different. Primarily Communist education inside capitalist 
countries is education for revolution, designed to develop and 
focus dissatisfaction with capitalist power. In places like the 
United States, Communists emphasize almost all the Soviet values 
and slogans in reverse. Instead of teaching youths loyalty to the 
national culture, they teach opposition and criticism. They em- 
phasize the right of teachers to individual liberty and the right 
of students to protest and agitate. They dramatize every act of 
reprisal against Communists, without mentioning the fact that 
the right of protest against the established regime is completely 
denied in the country of Communist dreams. 

Behind all Communist activity in the field of education is the 
conviction that Communists are a morally superior group in the 
population because of their possession of Communist truth, and 
that by virtue of the possession of this truth they have a superior 
moral insight, a capacity to reject error and discern reality. In the 
theory of Communist education the masses of the people have 
no independent right to set up an educational system of their 
own which opposes Communist truth, because Marxism-Leninism 
is the undisputed fountain of all truth. Hence, in Communist 
theory, the state may control education so long as the state is 
the instrument of Maoism-Leninism and so long as it does not 
attempt to challenge the supervising rights of the Communist 
Party in the educational world. Accordingly, it is quite fair to 
say that the Kremlin does not stand for education by the demo- 
cratic state. It disbelieves in the public school and it stands for 


the Party school. Its schools are called public schools but 
they are not public schools. 

The Church as Educator 

Although the alms of Communist and Catholic education are 
at opposite poles of the cultural -universe, the Vatican theory 
of education is an almost exact parallel to the Communist theory. 
In Catholic educational philosophy, God has given the Church 
superior rights over the schooling of all Catholics, and an auxil- 
iary right to censor certain aspects of non-Catholic education. 
No government has the moral or legal right to challenge this 
supremacy because the right of any government to govern comes 
from the same source from which the Vatican derives its pow- 
er. God's grant of authority to the Church takes precedence 
over the divine grant of authority to civil governments. 

The Vatican carries out this policy of superior power in edu- 
cation with the utmost consistency. Wherever in non-Catholic 
countries the Church is unable to control public schools, it at- 
tempts to establish a segregated, competing educational system 
of its own to teach Catholic "truth" and combat "secular error." 
It never permits the Catholic people of any particular country 
to alter this general pattern of educational policy on their own 
initiative. The policy is world-wide, and imposed without excep- 
tion by the Church's canon law. 

The Church's philosophy of education is, of course, partly an 
accident of history, a survival of a cultural splendor that has 
since faded away. For centuries the Church had almost a monop- 
oly of education in Europe. Priestly learning was the highest 
learning, and clerical philosophy dominated the whole academic 
field. For the most part, these centuries of Church domination 
were periods of neglect for the masses. Both princes and popes 
feared the effect of knowledge on the common people. Slowly, a 
world of democratic culture developed outside of authoritarian 
control, but at first even the boldest thinkers left the fundamental 
dogmas of the Church unchallenged. Even after the Reforma- 
tion, Protestantism still clung to many authoritarian concepts, 
and the idea that theology should be exempt from criticism by 
all other branches of learning still prevailed in many quarters. 
The concept of free public education, independent of ecclesiasti- 
cal control, did not develop until three centuries after Luther. 


When the American Constitution was written, public education 
was not mentioned, and it was not until forty years after its 
promulgation that most Americans began to appreciate the public 
school as a basic institution of modern democracy. 

The Vatican has yielded very reluctantly to the modern move- 
ments for free public education, and today it is the world's fore- 
most enemy of the independent public school. It has flatly 
denied the right of the non-Catholic state to direct the education 
of Catholic children and it has consistently disputed the claim 
of the state to establish educational policy for the community. 

This is strong language, and it requires documentary proof. 
Fortunately, the Catholic philosophy of education is so open 
and explicit that any ordinary student can find abundant proof 
of its character in any good Catholic book shop. The policy of 
opposition to public schools is written into canon law in the 
most specific language, and supported by the most specific theo- 
logical sanctions. A good Catholic has no more moral right to 
support neutral, public education than a good Communist has 
to support western "bourgeois culture." Many American Catho- 
lics, probably a majority, actually do support public education 
in preference to Catholic education but this is because they 
are good Americans rather than good Catholics. Officially they 
are morally bound to place the interests of their Church first in 
the field of education. 

For those who are interested in the unabridged Catholic doc- 
trine itself, I have included in the Notes at the end of this volume 
a rough translation of the entire text of Title XXII, "Concerning 
Schools," of the Catholic canon law. 12 Since the bare canon law 
itself can give only a small part of the total picture of educational 
policy, I shall ask here certain questions and give official Catholic 
answers which may help to make the picture complete. 

(1 ) Does the democratic state have the supreme right to educate 
its children in its own way? 

No. The primary right of education belongs to the Catholic 
Church "by reason of a double title in the supernatural order," 
and "the Church is independent of any sort of earthly power as 
well in the origin as in the exercise of her mission as educator." 
"It is the duty of the State to protect in its legislation the prior 
rights ... of the family as regards Christian education of its 


offspring, and consequently also to respect the supernatural rights 

of the Church in this same realm of Christian education." "The 
State may . . . reserve to itself the establishment and direction 
of schools intended to prepare for certain civic duties and espe- 
cially for military service, provided it be careful not to injure 
the rights of the Church or of the family in what pertains to 
them." "But let it be borne in mind that this institution owes its 
existence to the initiative of the family and the Church, long 
before it was undertaken by the State." All of these quotations 
are from Pius XFs Christian Education of Youth, the highest 
source of Catholic educational theory. 13 

(2) Is it a mortal sin for a Catholic child to attend a neutral 
public school? 

Yes, without special permission from a priest, if a suitable 
Catholic school is available. This is the rule of Canon 1374, 
and the mortal sin is shared by the parent. The standard Ameri- 
can book on canon law says that "the so-called public schools 
in the United States, because of their 'neutral* character, are of 
the kind which Catholics are forbidden to attend." 14 The latest 
revised Catechism of the Catholic Church in the United States 
says (page 198): "The Church forbids parents to send their 
children to non-Catholic or secular schools in which the Catholic 
religion is not taught, unless the bishop of the diocese grants 
permission because of particular circumstances." 

The standard book on canon law. quoted above, after warning 
against the enforcement of this law too harshly, quotes favorably 
a decree of the Holy Office on this subject which says that parents 
"who, although there is a suitable Catholic school properly 
equipped and ready in the locality, or, although they have means 
of sending their children elsewhere to receive a Catholic educa- 
tion, nevertheless without sufficient reason and without the 
necessary safeguards to make the proximate danger remote send 
them to the public schools such parents, if they are contuma- 
cious, obviously according to Catholic moral doctrine cannot 
be absolved in the Sacrament of Penance." Rebellious parents 
"should be absolved as soon as they are repentant." This is an 
intricate way of saying that Catholic mothers who send their 
children to public schools over the opposition of their priests may 
be consigned to hell. Under Canon 2319, Section 2, young 


Catholic couples may be excommunicated if they make an agree- 
ment when they are married to have any of their children edu- 
cated in a public school. 

This is the policy of coercive pressure under which the Catho- 
lic hierarchy has established in the United States a great school 
system of its own which segregates about 3,500,000 Catholic 
children from the children of other faiths and indoctrinates them 
with Catholic ideology. These schools have many virtues, but 
democracy is not one of them. They are segregated schools con- 
trolled wholly by the priests and religious orders, and the Catholic 
people do not participate in their ownership. All educational 
policies are determined by the centralized organs of power in 
Rome. The Catholic parents of the United States have never 
been given any opportunity to vote on the wisdom of the policy 
of segregated education, since it was imposed upon the American 
Church by papal edict and by a ruling of the higher American 
clergy in the Third Council of Baltimore in 1884. 

(3) Do governments have the right, in attempting to give all 
children a democratic education, to compel Catholics to attend 
public schools? 

No, the law of the Church forbids this. It is a law of God that 
Catholic children should not attend public, neutral schools, and 
"If a government commands citizens to violate the law of God, 
they must refuse to obey," That is the rule of paragraph 247 of 
the latest American Catholic Catechism. 15 The Vatican per- 
sistently teaches its people that they must defy any government 
which attempts to enforce public education on its children. Car- 
dinal Mindszenty directed such defiance in Hungary and was 
supported warmly by the Vatican; Pope Pius XI encouraged 
such defiance in Mexico; Cardinal Gibbons predicted such de- 
fiance in the United States in his Retrospect of Fifty Years, when 
he said: 

Similarly, for example, if the State should forbid us Catholics to con- 
tinue our parochial schools, we should resist to the uttermost: for we 
hold that, while the State has the undoubted right to compel her future 
citizens to receive a certain degree of education, she has no right to 
deprive them of the daily religious influence which we deem necessary 
for their spiritual and eternal welfare, as well as for their proper training 
in the duties of citizenship. 16 


Pius XI stated the principle behind this policy in his 1929 
letter to Cardinal Gasparri: "Logic further requires that it be 
recognized that the full and perfect mission to teach does not 
belong to the State but to the Church, and that the State may 
not prevent nor interfere with her in the exercise and fulfillment 
of that mission, not even to the extent of restricting the teaching 
of the Church exclusively to the teaching of religious truths." 17 

(4) Does the Catholic Church have the right to censor public 

Yes, in respect to all values and teachings which may in any 
way conflict with Catholic doctrine and policy. This right of 
censorship is expressed affirmatively and negatively in various 
canons, agreements, and covenants. Under Canon 1374 the 
Catholic bishop is the sole judge of the fitness of a public school 
to receive Catholic pupils, and this makes him a perpetual, un- 
official censor of that school. In predominantly Catholic countries 
like Italy, the Church makes agreements with the government, 
as it did in the 1 929 concordat with Mussolini, for the exclusive 
right to teach religion and morals in the public schools, and it 
retains the right to discharge any teacher of religion and morals 
who is not satisfactory to the local bishop. In Italy there is a 
crucifix in every public-school classroom, and a partisan section 
on religion in almost every elementary-school textbook. Most 
Italian textbooks used in public elementary schools combine his- 
tory, geography, science, and mathematics all in the same book. 
These books usually include religion as the first subject, and it is 
always specifically denominational religion with instructions for 
the Mass and prayers for the dead. I have just run through ten 
such textbooks and noted 143 pictures which would be branded 
as Catholic propaganda if they were introduced in American 
school books, and 185 pages of religious text of a Catholic charac- 
ter. Because of these conditions, Italian Catholics are permitted 
to attend Italian public schools without reproof, because these 
schools are essentially Catholic schools, neutral neither in subject 
matter nor in personnel. 

' In other Catholic countries such as Spain and Portugal, similar 
conditions exist. All Spanish public schools teach simultaneously 
that children must respect "His Excellency, the Caudillo, Gen- 
eralissimo of the Armies on land, sea and in the air, and Chief 


of the Government," and the only official state religion, that of 
the Catholic Church. All teachers in state schools are required 
to take a full course in Catholic doctrine before they may teach, 
and all state schools must give this doctrine to their pupils. "Pri- 
mary education," says the 1945 Law of Primary Education, "in- 
spired with a Catholic sense and consistent with Spanish 
educational traditions, will conform to the principles of the 
Catholic dogma and faith and to the prescriptions of canon 
law." 18 

In the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America the Church 
has fought to keep the same control of education as in Spain, but 
it has not been uniformly successful. In Mexico, when the able 
and progressive President Cardenas was attempting to rescue 
Ms country from clerical domination and illiteracy, Pius XI en- 
couraged insurrection against the government's public-school 
program in a thinly veiled plea for revolt in his encyclical to the 
Mexican bishops, Catholic Action Plan for Mexico, issued in 
March 1937. He ordered all Mexican Catholics "to keep their 
children as far away as possible from the impious and corruptive 
[public] schools/* and declared that "it is quite natural that when 
the most elementary religious and civil liberties are attacked, 
Catholic citizens must not resign themselves passively to re- 
nouncing their liberties." He then continued: 

You have more than once recalled to your faithful that the Church 
protects peace and order, even at the cost of grave sacrifices, and that it 
condemns every unjust insurrection of violence against constituted powers. 
On the other hand, among you it has also been said, whenever these 
powers arise against justice and truth even to destroying the very founda- 
tions of authority, it is not to be seen how those citizens are to be con- 
demned who unite to defend themselves and the nation, by licit and 
appropriate means, against those who make use of the public power to 
bring it to ruin. 19 

The theory that the Mexican clergy represented "the nation" in 
defending the people against the public school was a Roman 
clerical fiction, since the government and the policy of President 
Cardenas had been approved by the Mexican people in a demo- 
cratic election. 

In non-Catholic countries the Church asserts two negative edu- 
cational rights, the right to keep Catholics out of public schools 
by priestly directives, and the right to exclude by condemnation 


or veto any teacher who is unfriendly to the Church, or any 
teaching hostile to Catholic dogma. All instruction in sexual 
hygiene in public schools is boycotted, 20 and also all history text- 
books which expose the evil effects of clerical control on medie- 
val culture, and books which treat of divorce or birth control in 
a neutral or favorable manner. 

In 1950 it was Catholic pressure which forced through the 
New York State legislature an amendment to the state education 
law which said that a pupil in the public schools "may be excused 
from such study of health and hygiene as conflicts with the re- 
ligion of his parents." This was designed chiefly to '^shield" 
Catholic children from a little realism in sex education at the 
hands of trained specialists in the public schools. "The law/' 
said the anti-Communist New York Teachers Guild of the Ameri- 
can Federation of Labor, "is an open invitation to all religious 
groups to eliminate any phase of secular education not in harmony 
with their particular creed and ritual. This may well result in 
such an assault upon the practices of our secular school system as 
to destroy its very life." 

The Vatican successfully asserts its right to extend this censor- 
ship over education even to school textbooks in American-occu- 
pied Japan. In 1948, the Catholic press issued a communique 
on this subject which, in language and tone, was strikingly similar 
to Kremlin statements about anti-Lysenko textbooks during the 
same year. Presumably the communique referred to Catholic 
schools only, but its gospel is one which Catholic authorities ap- 
ply to public-school textbooks wherever they have effective 
power. The Catholic Register, in a dispatch from Tokyo, 

Like an earlier textbook on world history, a biology text for middle 
schools that caused considerable anxiety to [Catholic] missioners in Japan 
will be withdrawn. New books are being prepared by the Catholic univer- 
sity in Tokyo, in conjunction with several Catholic middle schools, and 
will be submitted to the government. Outstanding copies of the offending 
biology book cannot be withdrawn because of paper shortage, but the 
Jesuit Father Siemes has issued a comprehensive statement regarding the 
materialistic errors found in the text. 21 

When Jesuits use the phrase "materialistic errors" in referring 
to a biology textbook, they usually mean the teaching of evolu- 
tion. The Jesuits have been outstanding opponents of the theory 


of evolution for a long time, and they do not permit Catholic 
schools to teach it in the same way it is taught in public universi- 
ties. "The theory of evolution," says the Catholic Catechism, 
"which teaches that higher forms of life develop from lower forms 
has offered no convincing scientific proof that the human body 
developed gradually from that of a lower animal. . . , The 
human soul, being spiritual, could not possibly have developed 
from a lower, material form of life." 22 

Incidentally, at the very moment when Jesuit missionaries 
were opening their attack on evolution in the biology textbooks 
of Japan, missionaries of Russian Communism across the East 
China Sea were launching an attack on the biology textbooks of 
China from another direction. The Communist-controlled 
Shanghai paper, Ta Rung Pao, according to the New York Times, 
declared in a special attack on "reactionary" textbooks in the 
schools of Communist China: "In dealing with Darwin's theory 
of evolution care should be taken to differentiate between its pro- 
gressive and reactionary features. In dealing with Einstein's 
theory of relativity attention should be centered on those aspects 
in support of dialectical materialism, while the backward aspects 
of the theory should be refuted." The Ta Kung Pao announced 
the imposition of the Lysenko Party line on heredity in the Orient 
by saying: "Reactionary theories on heredity propounded by 
Mendel, Weismann and Morgan have already been deleted from 
biology textbooks for the senior and middle schools, but the 
progressive theory of Michurin should simultaneously be inserted 
to take the place of the discarded ones." 23 

Within the Catholic educational system itself, the hierarchy 
of the Church accomplishes the elimination of all "questionable" 
material from textbooks with as little fanfare as possible. The 
principles of control and censorship in the treatment of sociology 
textbooks are typical. Father William J. Kerby, founder of the 
department of sociology at the Catholic University of America, 
says: "Modern non-Catholic sociology hopes to arrive at a 
metaphysics through the systematic observation and interpreta- 
tion of present and past social facts and processes. In the Chris- 
tian-Catholic view of life, however, the social sciences are guided 
by a sanctioned metaphysics and philosophy, This philosophy is 
derived not from induction but from Revelation." And he shows 


how Catholic sociologists apply this principle to birth control anc 

If, for instance, the sociologist proposes a standard family of a limitec 
number of children in the name of human progress, by implication h< 
assumes an attitude towards the natural and Divine law which is quite 
repugnant to Catholic theology. Again, when he interprets divorce in it: 
relation to supposed social progress alone and finds little if any fault wit! 
it, he lays aside for the moment the law of marriage given by Christ. 24 

The formula for all Catholic sociologists and philosophers car 
be stated quite bluntly: You must close your mind against mod- 
ern knowledge whenever it comes into conflict with Catholic 
belief. In sociology you must follow Pius XI and Leo XIII; ir 
philosophy you must follow St. Thomas Aquinas. 

St. Thomas was quite a revolutionist for his own day, but the 
Church has used his teaching as a pattern for obedience and 
servility. His teaching supplies a logical framework for authori- 
tarian philosophy. Bertrand Russell's acid summary of his quali- 
ties might well be applied to both the Vatican's and the Kremlin's 
current attitudes toward the whole meaning of education: 

There is little of the true philosophic spirit in Aquinas. He does not 
like the Platonic Socrates, set out wherever the argument may lead. He 
is not engaged in an inquiry, the result of which is impossible to know 
in advance. Before he begins to philosophize, he already knows the truth: 
it is declared in the Catholic faith. If he can find apparently rationa] 
arguments for some parts of the faith, so much the better; if he cannot, he 
need only fall back on revelation. The finding of arguments for a con- 
clusion given in advance is not philosophy, but special pleading. I cannot, 
therefore, feel that he deserves to be put on a level with the best philoso- 
phers either of Greece or of modern times. 25 

Usually the Catholic acceptance of authority in place of reason 
is described in the Catholic educational system as a virtue. Honest 
scientists who disagree with the clergy are denounced as "athe- 
ists." At the very moment when the Vatican was making a world 
hero of Cardinal Mindszenty in his struggle for Catholic rights in 
Hungary, the cardinal told an American correspondent that he 
regarded Darwin as "a dangerous heretic who should have been 
burned at the stake." This same cardinal in 1945 refused to alter 
the Catholic description of the French Revolution in the paro- 
chial-school textbooks as "that mob movement of the late eight- 
eenth century in France which was designed primarily to rob 
the church of its lands." 26 


In public universities in the United States, priest-guardians 
attempt to induce Catholic students to boycott any textbooks or 
classes which are inimical to the teachings of the hierarchy. Any 
professor in a public university in the United States who is scorn- 
ful of St. Thomas Aquinas, or any professor who recognizes 
divorce as a necessary instrument of readjustment in some situa- 
tions, may find his courses being deserted by Catholic students 
on orders from a university "counselor." 

I know of several instances of this type of censorship, but I 
do not wish to embarrass any particular professors by making 
unpleasant facts public. Father Raymond P. Murray, Catholic 
chaplain of the municipal University of Buffalo, was indiscreet 
enough to put in writing his directives to all Catholic students in 
that university in 1946; the Church is very powerful in Buffalo 
because it has, apparently, a majority of the entire population. 

From time to time certain difficulties arise over certain courses given 
at the University. I would remind you that as Catholics we are bound 
in conscience by certain laws of the Church. We all know that we are 
forbidden to eat meat on Friday; that we must attend Sunday Mass, and 
make our Easter Duty. However, the Church also forbids under pain of 
serious sin and with censure attached, the reading of books against Faith 
and Morals proscribed by the Index; taking active part in Protestant church 
services such as singing in Protestant church choirs. Catholics are not 
free to take courses that deal directly with religious subjects such as 
courses in ethics, philosophy of religion, comparative religions, etc., if 
they are of a non-Catholic nature. Catholics are not permitted to use 
Bible textbooks not approved of by the Church. Hence in selecting your 
courses for the coming term, you should see that they do not conflict with 
your obligations as Catholics. I am available at all times at Newman Hall 
to consult with students concerning these matters. 

Strangely enough, this type of censorship of public education 
is sometimes more effective in non-Catholic than in Catholic 
countries. In a non-Catholic country very strong pressure may 
be quietly exerted upon public officials and teachers without 
any public protest, and textbooks may be forcibly revised and 
courses dropped without any open scandal. When the issue of 
academic freedom is dramatized by a public conflict, the Church 
nearly always loses* Even Catholic governments hesitate to admit 
that their universities are cultural colonies of the Vatican. 

When the Vatican was preparing the famous 1929 concordat 


with Mussolini, which finally made Catholicism the official state 
religion, a special article Article 33 was inserted in a pre- 
liminary draft of the treaty, saying: "The program of textbooks 
of the State schools shall be revised by a mixed commission of 
State officials and representatives of the ecclesiastical authorities 
to ensure that they contain nothing contrary to religion and good 
morals." 27 In the final reckoning, even Mussolini had too much 
intellectual pride to permit the adoption of this article, and it was 
dropped from the last draft. 

In the United States, some Church leaders engage in almost 
continuous sniping against the public schools as "godless," "im- 
moral," or even "Communistic" in their emphasis. The leading 
diocesan weekly of the United States, Our Sunday Visitor, said 
in discussing the public schools in 1 949 : 

Most non-Catholics know that the Catholic schools are rendering a 
greater service to our nation than the public schools in which subversive 
textbooks have been used, in which Communist-minded teachers have 
taught, and from whose classrooms Christ and even God Himself are 
barred. According to a statement issued in a report of an Illinois Legis- 
lative Investigation Committee in August, 1949, "schools provide a most 
fertile field of effective activities for Communists and other subversive 
factors." 28 

Such loose criticism is not in itself very effective, but it be- 
comes important and socially dangerous when coupled with the 
"economy" campaigns of taxpayers' groups which seek to cloak 
their opposition to public education behind demands for govern- 
ment efficiency. The National Education Association, the largest 
American teachers' group, was compelled in 1950 to recognize 
the bloc of "economy" and "anti-Communist" opponents as the 
foremost enemy of American public education, doubly dan- 
gerous because it masked its partisan purposes behind the 
most righteous slogans. 29 

Generally, in the United States, the attack on public education 
couples the charge that the public school breeds atheism and 
Communism with an oblique appeal for public money for Catho- 
lic schools. Here is a 1948 editorial headed "Stop Favoring 
Atheism," from the Indiana Catholic and Record, which repre- 
sents quite accurately the standard blend of passion, prejudice and 
logic in the Catholic hierarchy's attitude toward public education: 



We demand the separation of Atheism and State. 

As matters stand today we Americans are forbidden to use money 
raised by public taxes to support religious education, because (according 
to decisions of the Supreme Court) that would be forcing atheists and 
religiously indifferent people to pay for what they do not believe in. But 
what about the Catholics and Protestants and Jews who would like to 
have some religion taught to their children? Have they no rights? They 
are being forced to pay for a godless education which they do not believe 
in. That's perfectly all right, it seems. It is not. It's rank injustice and 

We do not demand that the rights of atheists and unbelievers be ignored. 
We ask only that believers be given equal rights with unbelievers. 

This can be done without uniting Church and State, for it is being done 
in Holland, England and Canada. In Holland, certainly not a Catholic 
country, almost the complete cost of denominational elementary and high 
schools and the larger part of the financial support for private universities 
is supplied from tax funds. Is there any reason why the same could not 
be done here? 

Parents pay the taxes that support education; parents have the first 
obligation and right to determine the type of education their children 
receive; therefore, parents have the right to decide how school funds be 
used. This right will continue to be ignored in our country until individual 
communities are permitted to build the schools the parents want: secular 
schools for unbelievers and religious schools for believers. 

The least a nation that calls itself Christian can do is stop favoring 
atheists. We demand separation of Atheism and State. 30 

(5) What is the nature of academic freedom in the Catholic 
school system? 

It is bounded by the same type of authoritarian limitation 
which exists in the Communist school system. "Academic free- 
dom gives only the right to teach the truth." 31 So declared Father 
Robert I. Gannon, president of Fordham University, in 1949. 
He might have added the inevitable Catholic corollary that su^ 
pregjSL. truth is always defined by the leaders of the Church. 
Teachers in Catholic institutions are free to teach anything which 
does not conflict with Vatican dogma or policy. There is no 
pretense in any Catholic institution that any teacher has a right 
to deviate from any major Catholic doctrine or policy and 
retain his position. 

Virtually all teachers in Catholic institutions are of course 
Catholic; and, by official definition of the Catholic Catechism, 


"A person who deliberately denies even one of the doctrines of 
the Church cannot be a Catholic." 32 No Catholic teacher is free 
to criticize the claim of papal infallibility, priestly celibacy, or 
the opposition to contraception and remain in a teaching post 
at a Catholic institution. No Catholic teacher is permitted to 
question openly such contrived doctrines as the new dogma, 
proclaimed in November 1950, that the corpse of the Virgin 
Mary was taken up bodily into heaven by angels after her death, 
leaving no physical trace behind. When a Catholic teacher has 
forced his intellect to accept such teachings, his mind is not 
likely to have enough resilience left to challenge more reasonable 

Usually the limitations of freedom in Catholic education are 
not discussed in public in the United States because of the 
fear of Catholic criticism. Occasionally from the Catholic spheres 
of education some phrase or fact breaks through into the con- 
sciousness of the outside world which does more than a whole 
library to reveal the nature of the system. Such a phrase was 
used by Father Hunter Guthrie, president of Georgetown Univer- 
sity in Washington, in June 1950, when he was addressing more 
than six thousand university graduates and their friends. Father 
Guthrie called academic freedom "the soft under-belly of our 
American way of life." He said: 

In the educational world today, we are witnessing the foolhardy attempt 
either to bring into being or to understand a thing which has neither form 
nor matter, is subject to no standard or norm, has neither limitation nor 
definition: the sacred fetish of academic freedom. 

This is the soft under-belly of our American way of life, and the sooner 
it is armor-plated by some sensible limitation the sooner will the future 
of this nation be secured from fatal consequences. 33 

The Washington Post, one of the few daily newspapers in the 
United States which still has the courage to speak candidly about 
the Catholic assaults upon the democratic spirit, replied with an 
editorial which ended with these words: 

We do not see how truth can be sired except by freedom that is, by 
the tolerance of diversity and even of error. And we should think that 
an institution of learning which is to say an institution of inquiry and 
challenge can do no better than to adhere to the ideal set forth by 
Thomas Jefferson when he first invited scholars to join the faculty of the 
University of Virginia: "This institution will be based on the illimitable 


freedom of the human mind. For here, we are not afraid to follow truth 
wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate error so long as reason is left free 
to combat it." 

The Vatican versus the Public School in Europe 
In nearly all of western Europe the struggle between the Vati- 
can and the public school is second in importance only to the 
struggle between democracy and Communism. In eastern Europe 
the Vatican has already lost the educational battle to the Kremlin 
unless an anti-Communist revolution should overthrow the 
satellite regimes but the public school struggle is now in an 
acute stage in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and West Ger- 
many, with the Vatican leading in Belgium and the Netherlands, 
holding its own in West Germany, and fighting a strong defensive 
battle in France. In all of these democratic countries the Church 
is using its power to work for the kind of special privilege which 
is called for by Catholic encyclicals and the canon law, but it is 
shrewd enough to temper its tactics to local public sentiment. 

Unlike Italy, France will not permit any church to teach re- 
ligion in the public schools or to display religious symbols in 
the public classrooms. France won the battle for separation of 
church and state in 1905. The public-school system, like the 
American system, offers free, neutral education to the children 
of all faiths, leaving the Catholic Church free to establish its own 
schools at its own expense, provided these schools meet certain 
minimum standards prescribed by the state. Although France is 
supposed to be overwhelmingly a Catholic nation, more than four 
out of five children of elementary-school age attend the public 

This defeat of Catholic power in education in one of its 
supposed strongholds has always been a very sore point with 
the leaders of French Catholicism, and they wage a ceaseless 
and bitter campaign against public education. In such sections 
as Maine-et-Loire, Vendee, Deux-Sevres, Brittany, and Nor- 
mandy, the priests virtually destroy the public schools. In many 
districts in these sections the public classrooms are less than 
half full, while the parochial classrooms are crowded. Parents 
who send their children to the decimated public schools are 
threatened with theological penalties, and graduates of Catholic 
schools are favored in employment. Tax strikes against the 


government have broken out in some districts, encouraged by 
Catholic bishops who are using the strikes as a weapon to force 
government appropriations for Catholic schools. In May 1950, 
according to the New York Times, Bishop Antoine Marie Cazaux 
of Lugon, while addressing a Catholic mass meeting, "urged his 
listeners to suspend payment of taxes until their demands had 
been met." 34 "Their" demands were the demands of the bishops 
for government money. The French hierarchy did not publicly 
rebuke the bishop, although it quietly called off his tax strike. 

One reason for the new aggressiveness of the hierarchy is that 
from 1 940 to 1 944 Marshal Petain, with Vatican encouragement 
and support, created in conquered France a virtual clerical- 
fascist state in which government money was paid to Catholic 
schools in defiance of the principles of the Third Republic. The 
French Catholic bishops are still living in the nostalgic afterglow 
of that Vichy golden age, and in their eyes Petain has always 
been a great statesman and a great Catholic. They have never 
ceased in their efforts to get him released from prison. 

Will the French hierarchy win its battle for public funds for 
its competing school system? One factor which is aiding the 
hierarchy is that it has captured certain good, democratic words 
in the propaganda battle and is applying them shrewdly. It calls 
the Catholic school I'ecole libre, and it calls the public school 
the state school. The Catholic schools are not free in any real 
sense, since they are not financially free for their students, their 
teachers have very limited academic freedom, and their policies 
are completely controlled from above by authoritarian machinery; 
yet the power of suggestive language is such that the undemocratic 
features of the system are quite effectively masked by the use of 
the word "free." 

In terms of present political power the Vatican has only a 
two-to-three chance of success for its program in the French 
National Assembly. It can count on the solid support of the 
M.R.P. and a large part of De Gaulle's R.P.F. in its demands for 
public money, but this is not more than 40 per cent of parlia- 
mentary strength at the present time. The outcome of the battle 
depends chiefly on the next national election, and a shift of 1 1 
per cent in the party proportions would bring to the Vatican one 
of the greatest triumphs of its political career the restoration 


of the Church to a privileged position in a Catholic nation which 
had once defeated clerical ascendancy. 

In Belgium, which is almost solidly Catholic, the Church is in 
a much more powerful position, with an absolute majority for 
the Catholic party in both houses of parliament. Catholic schools 
are already larger than public schools, and they receive almost 
equal subsidies from the state. A desperate fight is being waged 
between Catholic and Socialist political forces over one final 
concession of government funds for Catholic higher schools, with 
the present indications in favor of Catholic victory. 

The Church's most surprising victory in the school battle in 
western Europe has been in the Netherlands, which is still pre- 
dominantly non-Catholic the Catholic population being about 
39 per cent. There the Protestant government made the colossal 
blunder of subsidizing religious schools on the same basis as 
public schools, and having once granted such concessions to 
one set of religious schools, it was impossible in justice to refuse 
it to others. The long fight by the Catholic hierarchy for equality 
of government contributions to Catholic schools, which began 
in 1878, ended in 1920 with Catholic victory. The result has 
been tragic for the public schools. In 1948 the Catholic schools 
enrolled about 60 per cent more pupils than the public schools, 
and when the hierarchy's program for secondary schools is com- 
pleted it is possible that the Catholic enrollment may exceed 
public enrollment by 75 per cent. The Protestant elementary 
schools are also larger than the public schools. Almost 75 per 
cent of all Dutch children are being taught to think of themselves 
first as members of a denominational segment in the community 
rather than as members of one cultural community. The Catholic 
hierarchy has achieved what it has so bitterly denounced in 
Catholic countries like Italy the complete bifurcation of the 
national culture in the name of the superior moral worth of an 
outside power. The situation in West Germany is rapidly ap- 
proaching the same condition, since the government supports 
religious-directed schools with public funds. 

The British government faces a similar problem but it is not 
yet acute, since not more than 6 per cent of Britain's people are 
Catholic. 35 Great Britain has traditionally given government aid 
to religious schools, and it cannot consistently refuse to do for 


Catholic schools what It has done for Anglican schools. For 
many years the British Catholic bishops managed to maintain 
their separate school system with the help of taxpayers' money 
for operating expenses, while they levied upon the Catholic 
people themselves the cost of the school buildings. In 1949 they 
decided that even this relatively small proportionate charge 
should be added to the British taxpayer's bill. They announced 
a drive "for reducing the cost of reorganizing and building Catho- 
lic schools." In plain English, they came forward with a plan to 
turn their financially burdensome private-school system, with its 
1,038 government-aided schools and 380,000 pupils, over to 
the government, if the government would continue to permit 
Catholic religious education as usual, and would also make all 
teachers in Catholic schools "subject to approval, a& regards 
religious belief, by Catholic representatives." 36 The funds of 
the public were to be used for the expansion and maintenance of 
an essentially Catholic enterprise over which the Church would 
continue to maintain its control. It can be imagined that no 
non-Catholic could gain employment in such a controlled system 
unless he gave tacit or overt approval to Catholic policy. 

In a sense the 1949 educational plan of the British Catholic 
bishops went even beyond Catholic practice in Italy. It gave 
the hierarchy the right to ban teachers of non-religious subjects 
in a tax-supported school for failure to accept the Catholic out- 
look, a right which even the Church in Italy has never secured. 
Moreover, the Church in Italy has never been able to win official 
government appropriations for Catholic schools. Fortunately, 
all three of the leading political parties of Great Britain Labor, 
Conservatives, and Liberals promptly rejected the bishops' 
program. The Issue, however, is still very much alive in Great 
Britain, and Catholic propaganda at home and in the United 
States is attempting to win sympathy for the hierarchy by describ- 
ing the bishops' plan in the most favorable language. The plan, 
it is said, is a reasonable development of British tradition. Simul- 
taneously, disparaging reports are circulated concerning the 
quality of British public schools. The Catholic propaganda on 
the subject couples praise for the moral superiority of Catholic 
schools with disparagement of the moral laxity of public schools. 

On the whole, non-Catholic editors in Great Britain have been 


more courageous In speaking out against Catholic educational 
plans than their confreres in the United States. When England's 
leading Catholic prelate, Bernard Cardinal Griffin, issued a pas- 
toral letter in February 1950, calling for the submission of all 
other churches to the Holy See, and at the same time made it clear 
that his Church was still demanding more money from British 
taxpayers for its schools, one of Britain's distinguished conserva- 
tive journals, The Spectator, rebuked him for "totalitarianism 
pure and simple." It said: 

The pastoral letter issued by Cardinal Griffin and read in all Roman 
Catholic Churches last Sunday has a significant bearing on the vigorous 
and highly-organized demand for more public money for Roman Catholic 
schools. The Cardinal's declaration is as explicit as words can make it. 
"We Catholics," it states, "believe that our Church is the one true Church 
founded by Jesus Christ, whose Vicar on earth, His Holiness the Pope, 
speaks with an infallible voice when defining doctrines. ... A call for 
reunion means an invitation to all non-Catholics to join the one true 
Church. It means, in other words, submission to the authority of the 
Holy See." This, of course, is totalitarianism pure and simple. A Church 
is perfectly entitled to be totalitarian. But it is clearly a very different 
matter when taxpayers, the vast majority of whom would firmly repudiate 
the doctrine voiced by Cardinal Griffin, are asked to bear the whole cost 
of schools where the doctrine is inculcated. That is altogether too much 
to ask. 37 

It is scarcely necessary to point out that where the Vatican has 
completely won its battle against neutral public education, the 
results have been disastrous. Let the former head of the Asso- 
ciated Press in Spain, David Foltz, describe the result in that 

Spain is today the one civilized country of the Western world which does 
not have obligatory primary education. The clergy and the Falange search 
for talent to improve their ranks, but most schools are reserved for the 
sons and servants of the oligarchy. . . . The Falange sees to political edu- 
cation. The Spanish clergy sees to religious education. Fortunate is the 
Spanish child who manages to learn how to read and write. Illiteracy is 
reduced only in government statistics. 

I have seen primary schools for more than a hundred children with only 
one book in the entire building. It was the teacher's text, a third-grade 
"encyclopedia." ii8 

In general, the maintenance of a controlled private-school sys- 
tem under Vatican auspices has been an enormously successful 
device for penetration of non-Catholic countries. It fortifies the 


prejudices of Catholic children as a separate bloc in the popula- 
tion and it intensifies their denominational loyalties. It operates 
with a unique formula for the maintenance of power, since no 
other large organization in the world has ever attempted such a 
great experiment in foreign-controlled education. 

Discipline and Devotion 

WILLIAM JAMES ONCE WROTE a brilliant essay on "The Will to 
Believe," and an equally perceptive essay is needed on "The 
Will to Obey." To understand the driving force behind both the 
Kremlin and the Vatican systems of power, it is necessary to 
understand the devices which both systems use to develop and 
exploit religious devotion. In both systems the will to worship 
and the will to serve have been coupled with the will to obey. 
The most exalted altruistic motives have been skillfully woven 
into a code of subjection to a political-religious machine. Human 
weakness and human nobility have been combined in two match- 
less systems of personal loyalty and institutional discipline, 

A great many writers have pointed out that the ecstasy of 
religious devotion is not confined to formal religion, and that 
some of the noblest defenders of faith have never acknowledged 
a formal creed. Psychologically the men who operate the Com- 
munist system of power today fall into this category. They are 
atheists, but they have frequently been called a Communist 
priesthood, and the description is deserved. In the beginning, 
as Lenin said, they were "professional revolutionists," and their 
successors have never ceased to be professional revolutionary 
missionaries in the capitalist countries whose civilizations they 
aim to destroy. Inside the Soviet Union they have become the 
established priesthood of the established church, the only church 
which Communism really recognizes, the Kremlin. They defend 
its secular altars with the same zeal that characterizes the priest's 
defense of the Catholic Church in countries like Spain and Portu- 
gal, As Bernard Shaw once remarked: "Communism, being 
the lay form of Catholicism, and indeed meaning the same thing, 
has never had any lack of chaplains." 1 



The young Communist who wishes to enter this Soviet priest- 
hood must go through a process of indoctrination and training 
that is very much like that of a Jesuit. He must give his whole 
personality to the Faith without reservation. He must, as Ignatius 
Loyola said to his Jesuits, surrender his will to his religious 
superior "just as if he were a corpse." 

The parallels in the operation of the two priesthoods of the 
Vatican and the Kremlin are so consistent that in this chapter, 
instead of discussing the Vatican and the Kremlin separately, I 
shall make the comparisons as I go along. To begin with, the 
Vatican and the Kremlin stand for the control of the Catholic 
and the Communist worlds by special classes of persons. The 
rulers of the Communist Party rule world Communism; the 
members of the Catholic priesthood rule the world of Catholi- 
cism. Both ruling classes are artificially segregated castes in the 
communities to which they belong. They are kept distinct in 
activity and status in order to increase their efficiency and pres- 
tige. Priests and nuns are segregated from normal human beings 
by the insuperable barrier of costume I have seen priests in 
Italy playing soccer in full robes! Communist organizers do not 
wear special costumes, or forswear marriage, but they form a 
special type of power group whose way of life is quite distinctive. 

Lenin, when he laid down the leadership principle for Com- 
munism before the Bolshevik revolution in his book What Is to 
Be Done?, was scornful of the idea that society could be con- 
trolled by large masses of workers, and he consistently favored 
the small disciplined body of propagandists "pushing on from 
outside." He held that without leaders "professionally trained, 
schooled by long experience and working in perfect harmony, no 
class in modern society Is capable of conducting a determined 
struggle." 2 The Catholic Church has always recognized the 
validity of this reasoning as applied to the world of ecclesiastical 

In both the Communist and Catholic systems of power the 
small, disciplined inner group of leaders must be chosen from 
above, screened from above, and directed by the hierarchy of 
Party or Church. To preserve vitality and prevent decadence In 
this ruling group, there must be a certain amount of upward 
mobility. New blood is necessary in any healthful organism. 


But no new group must ever be permitted to displace either the 
Communist or the Catholic elite. The priesthood must never 
surrender to the masses or permit the masses to take the reins 
of power. The ruling caste must be essentially a self-appointed 
and a self-perpetuating caste. Sidney and Beatrice Webb, in 
describing the leadership principle in force in Russia, speak of 
the "vocation of leadership." Both the idea and the words are 
used in exactly the same way in the Catholic system of power in 
appealing for "vocations." 

The selection of new leaders from above is the basis of both 
Communist and Catholic discipline, and it is the direct opposite 
of the process of selection in a democratic society. An American 
legislative representative is chosen by the voters of a certain 
district and is answerable to his people for all his political acts 
and beliefs. He does not belong to a special class in the com- 
munity and he is not indoctrinated against majority control in a 
party or priestly school. His judgment is subjected at periodic 
intervals to the approval of his constituents. 

This type of democratic control of the leaders by the masses 
is not considered a proper method by the Catholic Church or 
the Communist Party. The ends of Communist and Catholic 
activity are not determined by the masses of the people but by 
the elite; and only the elite are considered discerning enough 
to choose appropriate goals for their followers. 

Usually the Communist candidate for Kremlin priesthood 
requires a very severe period of preliminary training before he 
is given any substantial recognition. The leaders must be sure 
of his loyalty before they can trust him. This training consists 
of two parts, the cultural indoctrination and the intensive practi- 
cal discipline. A new Party member is often assigned to the 
most difficult and unpleasant tasks in order to test his loyalty 
and devotion, and he must accept every assignment without 
grumbling, and execute it as directed. Military discipline prevails 
in all branches of the movement even in peacetime. A new Party 
member in a non-Communist country may be assigned, for ex- 
ample, to picket in a strike which the Party favors for political 
reasons; or distribute handbills; or start a "spontaneous" street 
demonstration against a "fascist" who was a Communist hero 
the week before; or jab hatpins into a policeman's horse; or cir- 


culate a petition for "peace" at a moment when the Soviet Union 
is invading a weaker country. He is expected to obey willingly 
and to give passionate support to his Party's position. 

To hold his allegiance to the Party line and condition him for 
further obedient service, the Party directs that he should attend 
many Party meetings until late in the night, read Party literature 
unceasingly, and saturate himself in Party strategy. Family re- 
sponsibilities and pleasures must be subordinated to the Party's 
interests, and faithful members must move from city to city on 
Party orders, or remain stationary according to reverse orders. 
A French Communist Party guidebook says : "The militant called 
upon to choose between his family life and work for the Party 
has an easy choice." 3 Whether the choice is easy or not, it is 
universally enforced on Communist Party members throughout 
the world. "Practically every moment of a Party member's living 
day," says Ben Gitlow, former Communist Party candidate for 
Vice President of the United States, "is spent in purposeful ac- 
tivity for the Communist Party. . . . Lucky is the Party member 
who finds time to wipe his nose and catch more than three or four 
hours' sleep a day. . . . He has no time to contemplate, to think 
or to worry about himself. The Party winds him up and keeps him 
going." 4 

As a Party member progresses in discipline and responsibility, 
he may be assigned to types of work that are not only physically 
dangerous but morally treacherous. If the Party leaders desire 
it, he must spy on his fellow members, and even affiliate himself 
with internal movements of rebellion in order to destroy them. 
When joining the movement, he takes an oath to support the 
Soviet Union as the Fatherland of socialism. Accordingly, he 
is expected to act for the Kremlin even against his own nation 
whenever Moscow directs it. When the Communist forces of 
North Korea invaded South Korea in the summer of 1950 and 
the western democracies struck back, every Communist party in 
the world supported the Communist invasion as a "liberation" 
movement, and became, in effect, a fifth column in each nation. 

So many former Communists have described the processes of 
Party discipline in their "confessions" in recent years, that it is 
not necessary to repeat many details here. Louis F. Budenz, 
former editor of New York's Daily Worker and, now a devout 


Catholic, tells how the Communist Party of the United States 
during the days of his membership operated an open and a secret 
system of training schools at the same time. The more important 
recruits were assigned to the secret schools. Budenz declares 
that the students in these secret Party schools were frequently 
isolated from the outside world completely for six to ten weeks. 
During that time, they were not permitted to leave the premises 
or write to friends or use their own names or receive mail. Ordi- 
narily, married comrades were not permitted to attend the secret 
schools with their wives or husbands; if this rule was relaxed 
for some special reason, man and wife were forbidden to have 
sexual contact. 5 

The Two Monasticisms 

Mr. Budenz, as a devout Catholic, did not draw the most ob- 
vious analogy between this type of Communist monasticism and 
Catholic monasticism. The great Catholic religious orders recruit 
and train their devotees by techniques that are strikingly similar 
to the methods of the secret Communist schools. In both cases 
there is a systematic appeal to altruism, well calculated to touch 
the youthful heart. The Catholic recruits are usually secured 
at a relatively early age, particularly the women recruits, and 
their sequestration is more complete and continuous than that of 
the Communist devotees. They are committed for life, while still 
young and inexperienced, to lives of sexual denial and personal 
isolation from normal activity. 

Sometimes economic relief for their families plays a part in 
the vocational choice. In Catholic countries like Italy, young 
boys and girls are frequently recruited from poor families as early 
as eight or nine years of age, trained by priests and nuns in re- 
ligious schools, saturated in an atmosphere of doctrinal com- 
pulsions, and then promoted to membership in religious orders 
almost automatically. At no point in the process are they given 
an opportunity to make a genuinely free occupational choice. 
Their whole experience has conditioned them for one calling only. 
They are drafted into the life of a Religious by social and cultural 
pressure. They are, as H. G. Wells has put it, "set aside from 
the common sanity of mankind from their youth up." 6 

Secular priests, it is true, are not fully and irrevocably com- 
mitted to their careers until they are twenty-one, and they are 


not completely cut off from outside influences during their train- 
ing. Also, young Catholic girls who become postulants at skteen 
in a religious order are nominally free to reconsider and reverse 
their choices, after a period of training, before they take final 
Vows. In practice, however, they are completely surrounded by 
suggestions of conformity and discipline, and during the critical 
"religious year" in the novitiate, they may be denied all contact 
with family and friends. In fact, if they show signs of wavering 
during this critical period, they are usually denied the right to 
receive visitors or to read mail or newspapers or to consult any 
outsider of independent judgment until "their" decision has been 
made. The final choice of vocation may be largely the result of 
continuous sequestration. 

The oath of devotion in a Catholic religious order parallels 
that of the Communist Party. Complete submission to institu- 
tional superiors and complete surrender of the personal will are 
accepted as necessary Christian virtues. Ignatius Loyola, whom I 
have already quoted, set the tone for Catholic religious discipline 
when he taught his Jesuits the virtue of "absolute annihilation 
of our own judgment." "We must," he said, "if anything appears 
to our eyes white, which the Church declares to be black, also 
declare it to be black." 7 

In the Catholic religious orders chastity is pledged for life, 
often when the recruits are still too young to understand the 
meaning of their own renunciation. Recruiting, in fact, is largely 
based on the guilt feelings of youth and adolescence about sex, 
and the conviction of sin is systematically exploited to induce a 
commitment to the Religious vocation. After commitment, celi- 
bacy is skillfully associated with devotion in such a way as to 
sublimate sexual energy into institutional channels. Many com- 
mentators have pointed out that for male celibates the figure of 
the Virgin Mary, and for female celibates the figure of Christ, are 
used as agents for the redirection and sublimation of thwarted 
sexual energy. Religious orders for women carry the sexual 
symbolism so far that they dress their postulants in bridal cos- 
tumes when they are sworn in to full membership as "brides of 
Christ." The psychological result of such a substitution upon 
a community of sex-starved young nuns has been brilliantly de- 
scribed by Rumer Godden in her book, Black Narcissus. 


The requirements of community living and group segregation 
in the Catholic system also form a necessary part of the total 
discipline. The monastic economic system is essentially a com- 
munist system. Monks and nuns may not own anything except 
personal belongings; if they are given gifts, the favors must be 
turned over to their religious orders. Even teaching nuns who 
are placed upon the government payrolls of American states and 
cities must turn over their salaries to the Church, and live on 
the meager personal allowance of monastery life. 

There is much to be said for the exalted nobility and high 
devotion of Catholic monasticism, but it cannot be denied that 
the life of the Catholic Religious is almost totally devoid of per- 
sonal freedom. Freedom of reading, freedom of entertainment, 
freedom of movement to a new environment, freedom of mar- 
riage, and freedom of recreation are all denied as a matter of 
course. Secular priests have more physical freedom than members 
of religious orders, but scarcely any more intellectual freedom. 
Nuns are continuously segregated from reality by protective de- 
vices of sequestration and control. American Catholic seminary 
students training for the priesthood in Rome are not even permit- 
ted to go to approved motion pictures in public theaters, or to 
read a YMCA magazine; and, of course, they are not permitted 
to read ordinary newspapers freely. No cloistered nun who has 
taken solemn vows may ever leave a convent for a short time 
without a special indult of the Holy See, except in the case of 
imminent danger of death or other serious crisis. When she is 
permitted to leave, some other nun must accompany her. Re- 
ligious women, appearing in churches, are forbidden by Canon 
1264 to sing in a place where they can be observed. 

The convents of nuns with solemn vows, according to canon 
law, "should be protected on every side in such a manner as to 
prevent, as far as possible, those within from being seen by, or 
seeing, persons outside." Nuns are warned "lest, from intercourse 
with outsiders the discipline be relaxed and the religious spirit 
weakened by useless conversation." Even the priestly confessor 
of such nuns must sit outside the enclosure and hear confession 
through an opening. Objects are passed through the convent gate 
in a wheel installed in the wall. "There is no objection," says 
the Congregation of the Religious, "to having a little opening in 


the wheel through which one may see what is being put in." 8 

When the nuns with solemn vows receive visitors in the parlor, 
there must be two screens, similar to the screens used in American 
prisons, separating the nun from the visitor. (A former priest in 
Italy told me how, as a small child visiting his cloistered aunt 
with his mother, he was permitted to squeeze between the visitors' 
screens and stand there for a moment so that the aging nun could 
feel the live, warm body of a child.) 

This complete isolation and subordination of personal free- 
doms is taught to Catholic devotees as a useful part of Chris- 
tianity. Obedience to the Mother Superior is equated with 
obedience to God, and rebellion against repressive discipline is 
described as rebellion against God. The system of discipline for 
nuns with simple vows is much more reasonable than for clois- 
tered nuns, but the principle of the discipline remains the same. 
The renunciation of freedom of thought and freedom of speech 
is considered a virtue; the subject mind is exalted as a good thing 
in itself; the thwarted personality is considered holy; the with- 
drawal from the world's realities is described as supreme realism. 
Until recently, nuns who were caught in this system of discipline 
could not even write to a religious superior outside of their own 
order without the risk that their letters would be opened. Now, 
letters may be sent unopened to the Pope and a few other religious 
superiors, but all letters addressed to other persons are subject to 
opening and censorship. 

The monastery life is a singular mixture of selflessness and 
egotism, of religious fanaticism and social stupidity. The service 
orders, particularly those of nursing nuns, are sublimely useful 
and worthy of the deepest admiration and respect; and usually 
the teaching orders are almost as praiseworthy in the complete- 
ness of their personal sacrifice. But the so-called contemplative 
orders are scarcely above the level of juvenile escapism. In Trap- 
pist (Cistercian) monasteries, for example, apparently stable and 
able-bodied men withdraw from all social responsibilities for life 
and dedicate themselves "silent in life-long penitential reparation 
for the sins of the world." They deliberately make life uncom- 
fortable for themselves on the theory that discomfort in itself is 
holy penance like that of the Hindu fakirs who sleep on beds 
of nails. Trappist monks rise at 2:00 A.M. instead of a healthful 


hour, and, if possible, never speak to their fellow members except 
in a special sign language. Ostensibly they scorn the world as 
sinful. However, they manage to circularize hundreds of thou- 
sands of people in the United States people who live in the 
sinful world with gaudy appeals for worldly money. (I have 
received many of these appeals because my name is on several 
Catholic mailing lists.) They collect enough American revenue 
for themselves to live on their little islands of self -absorption with 
reasonable security. Even the Catholic convert Thomas Merton 
suggests, in his book, The Seven Storey Mountain, the incon- 
sistency of combining Trappist principles with such appeals for 
money from the outside world. 

"Mortification," says the Catholic Encyclopedia, "is one of the 
methods which Christian ascetism employs in training the soul 
to virtuous and holy living. . . . What it slays is the disease of 
the soul, and by slaying this it restores and invigorates the soul's 
life. . . . They [the desires of the flesh] represent a twist in the 
nature, and must be treated as one treats a twisted wire when en- 
deavoring to straighten it, namely by twisting it the opposite 
way." 9 The Church still encourages this kind of discipline by 
self-punishment and hardship. In a sense, the priestly schedule 
of endless, repetitive reading of ritual is a kind of mental self- 
torture, calculated to discipline the will, and at the same time to 
deaden the critical intellect. Few sensitive minds could survive 
such an erosion of energy without a fatal loss of intellectual inde- 

One of the saints created by Pope Pius XII during the summer 
of the Holy Year of 1950 was Maria Anna de Paredes of Ecua- 
dor, whose chief claim to holiness was that she virtually achieved 
her own destruction at the age of twenty-seven by self-torture and 
starvation. She slept two or three hours a night, deprived herself 
of normal food, wrapped her body in strands of thistles which 
caused profuse bleeding, and clung for hours to a high cross on 
the wall of her room. Far from condemning these practices, Pius 
XII praised the young lady as a model of Christian womanhood 
when he raised her to sainthood. However, it was widely reported 
in Rome that he was somewhat reluctant to take the final step 
of canonization because of the nature of the new saint's "ac- 
complishments." A struggle is going on inside the Church be- 


tween those who recognize the facts of psychological science and 
those who do not. The advocates of mortification are on the 
defensive, for modem psychologists have analyzed the sexual 
significance of self-flagellation with embarrassing candor, and 
there are many Catholic scholars who would like to eliminate 
the practice entirely from Church discipline. 

The Sense of Guilt 

Meanwhile, in the Communist system of power, there is a 
similar exploitation of the sense of guilt in behalf of the authori- 
tarian state, and a similar, but much more severe, development 
of the techniques of punishment. Perhaps the Russian mind has 
been inured to self-torture by centuries of subjection to the old 
Orthodox Church. In any case, the Soviet state has carried over 
into modern Communism a great part of the doctrinal baggage 
of the Orthodox theory of sin. The first law of Communist dis- 
cipline is that rebellion against the authority of the Stalinist 
machine is not merely a mistake but a mortal sin a mortal sin 
against the Soviet Fatherland and the Holy Communist Faith. 
The cultivation of the sense of guilt is one of the basic devices of 
Party discipline. Any comrade who rebels even slightly against 
Kremlin orders must be made to feel that he is a traitor to the 
working class. Psychic torture begins even before physical tor- 
ture, and it is often more appallingly ruthless. 

The best evidence of the success of Communist methods in 
producing a sense of guilt in the minds of all rebels is the Com- 
munist "confession" which has been a feature of almost every 
great Communist heresy trial since 1936. Fallen Communists 
in these famous purge trials have apparently revealed a positive 
pleasure in their abasement, and many observers have compared 
their reactions to those of religious masochists who practice 
self-flagellation. Whether the comparison is sound or not, it is 
certain that the Communists use both physical and psychic torture 
very effectively in producing confessions at their treason trials. 
They often break a rebel's body first in order to subdue his spirit, 
and the will to confess is frequently produced by techniques which 
bring the victim close to the border of insanity without leaving 
any mark upon his body. 

Zbigniew Stypulkowski, one of the leaders of the anti-Nazi 


underground in Poland, and also a leader of the old anti-Commu- 
nist government of Poland, has told in detail exactly how a Soviet 
tribunal prepares a victim for confession before a trial. He was 
questioned 141 times in 70 days in the Lubianka prison in Mos- 
cow in the attempt to break Ms will and make him admit anti- 
Soviet acts which he had never committed. 

They did not actually torture us, because for this performance we must 
show no marks. . . . All night and day a very strong light was on in the 
cell. The light bulb was fixed at the door, so that it shone straight into my 
face when I was lying in bed. . . . During the night I had only one 
blanket. If I fell asleep, I automatically put my hands under the blanket. 
But at that moment, the warder who looked every moment through the 
hole in the door to see what was happening in the cell, would open the 
door with much noise and whisper: "That is forbidden. You must have 
your hands on the blanket." Of course, it interrupted my moment of rest. 
My fingers would become stiff and I could not sleep. 

To eat I got two slices of bread in the morning and at lunchtime water 
with some cabbage leaves in it. In the afternoon I got two spoonfuls of 
barley. That was all, but it was nicely served. The bread was fresh, and 
the soup was tasty. This stimulated my appetite and the amount was so 
insufficient. The light in my cell, which was on all night and all day, was 
very powerful; there was no escape from it. If I turned away in sleep 
hiding my eyes the warder came in whispering, "You are not allowed 
to sleep like this, I must see your eyes." . . . 

After two or three weeks, I was in a semi-conscious state. After fifty 
or sixty interrogations, with cold and hunger and almost no sleep, a man 
becomes like an automaton his eyes are bright, his legs swollen, his 
hands trembling. In this state he is often even convinced that he is guilty. 
He believes what the judge tells him. 10 

So torture and fear break the human spirit. The slightest devia- 
tion from Party discipline in factory, army, or public office may 
bring swift punishment from the secret police. Any man sus- 
pected of disloyal intrigues against the Kremlin may be rounded 
up at any moment without any public legal proceeding and 
quietly put away. The secret police, now called the MVD, have 
the power to send any Russian to a forced "corrective" labor camp 
for any term up to five years without any official trial. 11 Quick 
vengeance may be meted out to a whole group of dissidents for 
the crime of one of them. Friends and families are, in Stalin's 
code, perpetual hostages who can be used to guarantee the loyalty 
of his associates. Reprisal, in fact, is the chief weapon of Stalinist 
terror, and it is likely that a successful revolution would have 


overthrown Stalin long ago if it had not been for the fear of 
even the most desperate rebels that their suicidal assassinations 
would be followed by the mass slaughter of all their friends and 
relatives. It is this terror which has helped to keep the same 
small group of men in power in the Soviet Union without any 
genuinely free election for almost thirty-five years. 

The first great series of Bolshevik reprisals began in August 
1918, when five hundred persons were liquidated for the murder 
of one, the head of the Cheka in Petrograd. This orgy of reprisal 
paled into insignificance when compared to the great Stalin purge 
of 1936 and 1937; this purge followed the murder in Leningrad, 
in December 1934, of one of Stalin's close friends, S. M. Kirov, 
who had been assigned the task of suppressing the Zinoviev 
opposition in that city. Before the purge was through, thousands 
of alleged "assassins of Kirov" had been shot, and hundreds of 
thousands sent to concentration camps. One estimate put the 
officers of the Red Army who were arrested or shot in that period 
at 20,000. Marshal Tukhachevsky, war hero, was executed in 
1937 for attempting a coup d'etat. Of the five men of the original 
Politburo who had operated the government through the great 
civil war Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Kamenev, and Bukharin 
only Stalin has survived; Trotsky was murdered in 1940, and 
Kamenev and Bukharin were shot in 1936. Thus Stalin attained 
his lonely eminence while the chief prosecutor at the "treason" 
trials, Andrei Vishinsky, shouted: "Shoot the mad dogs!" 12 To 
parallel such a fantastic situation in the United States, one would 
have to imagine Franklin Roosevelt ordering death before a firing 
squad for Herbert Hoover, General Marshall, and Cordell Hull. 

Ostensibly the Soviet Union has a system of tribunals for all 
ordinary offenders, but the sins of political offenders are outside 
of the protection of the law. The political offender may disap- 
pear from the circle of his family and friends without a sound 
or a trace, and his relatives do not dare to inquire about him 
persistently, or challenge the Communist authorities for victimiz- 
ing him. An agent of the MVD may appear at the house of any 
Soviet citizen in the middle of the night and take him away 
without explanation. Years later, the shadow of a once-normal 
man may appear again suddenly in the old circle. Usually his 
life during the period of discipline remains enveloped in silence. 


No one ever speaks openly in the Soviet Union of the great 
system of forced-labor camps which were established in 1922, 
and which have now become a basic fact in Russia's economy. 
Professor Warren Walsh, chairman of the Board of Russian 
Studies at Syracuse University, on the basis of internal Soviet 
data, estimates the total population of these camps at the present 
time at 14,000,000. The British government has secured and 
made public the Russian code for these labor camps. Under that 
code Russian workers are punished partly according to "their 
degree of class dangerousness." 18 If they happen to be prosperous 
and oppose Stalinism, they are punished as "class-hostile ele- 
ments." If they are ordinary proletarians, they are punished as 
"unstable elements among the workers." They can be sent to a 
forced-labor camp as readily by an administrative government 
agency as by a court. 

Sometimes the Kremlin victims are sent away or executed for 
a mere blunder in computation. The blunder, in fact, may be 
punished even if it is not a blunder at all but only an unfortunate 
revelation of truth which happens to be contrary to official 
theory. The directors of the 1937 census were executed, ap- 
parently because their computations did not support the optimis- 
tic preliminary estimates of Stalin and the Politburo. The well- 
known journalist, John Scott, has summarized in Life magazine 14 
the classically simple stories of nine men who served as prisoners 
in the Soviet Union's forced-labor camps. The story of one 
scientist is typical: 

One day [he said] I made a mistake. It was not a large mistake, but 
the director of the laboratory where I worked did not notice the extra 
zero in the final figure and incorporated it in his report. Only weeks later 
it was discovered, and under circumstances extremely embarrassing to the 
entire institute. It was therefore not surprising that when the arrests 
began in 1937, I was one of the first to go. I got eight years in a forced 
labor camp. . . . 

We had to fell the trees, strip them, cut them to length and pull the logs 
to a designated place. My quota was six cubic meters of lumber a day. 
This norm was based on the productivity of a skilled woodcutter working 
for ten hours with sharp tools. I was inexperienced, the weather was 
unbelievable, the tools were scarce and dull. . . . 

Almost all of us tried hard to meet the quota. Those who did were 
given three metal tabs by the criminal trusties who supervised us political 
prisoners. When you presented the tabs in the kitchen, you got a regular 


ration. If you failed to make six meters, you got only two tabs. If you 
failed to make four cubic meters, you got only one. The food you got on 
one tab was merely enough to keep a man alive lying in bed. Men died 
like grasshoppers in autumn. The young died more quickly than the old. 
Women survived even better than the older men. 

We were not closely guarded, but whenever a man escaped his barracks 
everyone was called out, and every tenth man was shot. Usually the 
fugitive too was brought back several days later and shot before the whole 

Ignazio Silone, the distinguished Italian novelist who served 
for a time as one of the leaders of world Communism, and then 
deserted Moscow in disgust, has described the attitude lying be- 
hind this type of cruelty. "What struck me most about the 
Russian Communists," he said, "even in such really exceptional 
personalities as Lenin and Trotsky, was their utter incapacity 
to be fair in discussing opinions that conflicted with their own. 
The adversary, simply for daring to contradict, at once became 
a traitor, an opportunist, a hireling. An adversary in good faith 
is inconceivable to the Russian Communists. What an aberra- 
tion of conscience this is, for so-called materialists and rationalists 
to uphold absolutely in their polemics the primacy of morals 
over intelligence! To find a comparable infatuation one has to 
go back to the Inquisition." 15 

In a sense, the Communist agitator is more like a Jesuit than 
a Benedictine. Jesuits are not confined to monasteries, and they 
circulate freely in the world as roving agents of the Faith. They 
are holy men of the world, even when their worldliness is dedi- 
cated to another world. 16 Communists, too, may be worldly, 
provided their total careers are dedicated to the cause. In Russia 
they often acquire luxuries and privileges which separate them 
from the masses of the people as effectively as if they were multi- 
millionaires. In the Catholic system, secular priests are permitted 
to acquire wealth and power so long as they do not do anything 
"scandalous" to advertise their wealth. Conspicuous personal 
extravagance is frowned upon, but institutional spending for per- 
sonal vanity is just as apparent In Rome as it is in Moscow, and 
the distance between a prince of the Church and the masses of 
the Italian people is just as great as between a member of the 
Politburo and the masses of the people of Moscow. 

Both systems of discipline are remarkably successful in one 


thing. They produce heroes and martyrs of sublime courage 
and self-sacrifice. They offer the most striking examples to the 
world of the dedicated personality. It would be difficult to choose 
between them in this respect. They serve completely different 
gods, but they serve these gods with the same utter devotion. 
The consecrated personality may wear a monk's habit in the 
mountains of Tibet, or the black robes of a nursing nun -in a 
leprosarium in Africa, or the uniform of a political commissar 
in the Red Army. 

Garrett Underbill, formerly of the War Department General 
Staff of the United States, has pointed out that the concept of 
"dedicated services" in the Red Army is essentially a religious 
concept and that the political commissar in that army, who may 
seem like a Communist spy to us, is a man committed to heroism 
as well as obedience: 

Along with outward displays of militarism, the idea of dedication to 
service is carried out in the Soviet services with an almost religious fervor. 
The Russians have not dared follow Napoleon's lead and become so 
counter-revolutionary as to re-introduce Christianity. Still the word "holy" 
as used in the armed forces' oath is that used by the Orthodox Russian 
Church. . . . This concept of dedicated services is emphasized daily. 
When an officer compliments a subordinate which he must do often, 
for the Soviets hold praise more necessary than blame the junior snaps 
smartly to attention and replies smugly: "I serve the Soviet Union." 
When a new group of Soviet B-29s is formed, the airmen kneel with 
bowed heads to receive their colors from their air division commander. 17 

How well this religious devotion paid off in the Red Army dur- 
ing World War II was described by Mr. Underbill in these words: 

The Germans frequently found that, if a disabled tank continued to 
fire until its last crew member was killed, the odds were that the tank crew 
included a political officer. After the Red Fiftieth Field Army was sur- 
rounded at Bryansk, the army's top military leaders and political officers 
drank and indulged in mutual recriminations while they awaited the Ger- 
mans. But when the enemy came, they fought back to back till not a 
general or a senior political officer was left. 

The Discipline of Exclusion 

Within the Communist and Catholic systems of power there 
is another kind of discipline which may be described broadly as 
the discipline of exclusion. It is designed to keep the faithful 
from contamination by doctrines that are close to orthodoxy 


but still unorthodox. The particular sins to be avoided are 
democratic socialism and Trotskyism on the one hand, and 
Protestantism on the other. At the Kremlin there is no enemy 
so cordially hated as a good democratic socialist, and at the Vati- 
can there is no opponent so roundly condemned as a militant 
Protestant. Good Communists and good Catholics must at all 
costs see that they are not tainted with these forms of heresy. 
To prevent the corruption of the faithful, both the Kremlin and 
the Vatican have developed very definite lines of doctrinal and 
disciplinary demarcation beyond which no faithful disciple may 

The Catholic discipline of exclusion against Protestantism is 
imposed by canon law, but it is not very often discussed openly 
in countries like the United States because the Church would 
be gravely embarrassed by the exposure of the narrowness of the 
official point of view. The Vatican declares that all Protestants 
are heretics; that Protestant clerical orders are spurious; and 
that all human beings who deliberately reject the Catholic form 
of Christianity after examining its claims are doomed to eternal 
perdition. 18 The fact that Protestants worship the same God 
and the same Christ does not in any way soften the official im- 
peachment. In fact, Catholic literature is more caustic in attack- 
ing Protestantism than in attacking Mohammedanism or Bud- 

In Italy, where the Church operates under the direct primacy 
of the Pope, many official attacks on Protestantism have been 
published in recent years which are wholly inconsistent with the 
official endorsement of tolerance spoken by Catholic bishops in 
the United States. I have before me as I write this chapter an 
official Catholic booklet, published in Pompeii under an official 
Imprimatur, written by a Jesuit priest, and now being widely 
circulated in Italy. Its subject is Protestantism, and it pictures 
Protestants in a large colored cartoon on the cover as hungry 
jackals storming the walls of St. Peter's. It describes Protestants 
as "disgraceful apostates of the sanctuary in whom there is not a 
shadow of good faith." "The heads of Protestantism," says the 
booklet, "were true and real criminals worthy of jail. Their prin- 
ciples are immoral and bring about anarchy." 10 

Under the Catholic policy of no compromise with Protestant- 


ism, no Catholic may read a Protestant Bible, or attend a Prot- 
estant religious service of any kind, or read a Protestant book 
of religious exposition, or sing in a Protestant choir, or be married 
by a Protestant clergyman, or enter his child in a Protestant 
school. In fact, no Catholic may marry a Protestant unless a 
dispensation is obtained, and this is not granted unless the Prot- 
estant bride or groom promises that all the children of the 
marriage shall be reared as Catholics. There is, of course, no 
corresponding anti-Catholic policy in the Protestant system. 
Protestants recognize unconditionally the marriages of their mem- 
bers by Catholic priests or Jewish rabbis. 20 

The discipline of exclusion and discrimination in the Catholic 
system is especially important because it applies not only to the 
ruling caste of the Church but to the 350,000,000 Catholic mem- 
bers throughout the world. The policy of exclusion makes of 
the Catholic population a biological bloc in each nation which 
is even more clearly separated from the rest of the community 
than the Communist bloc, because Communists in countries 
outside of the Soviet Union are not expressly forbidden to 
inter-marry with other groups. In the Catholic system inter- 
breeding with non-Catholic families is specifically forbidden 
by canon law, 21 and Catholic children are taught in their schools 
that it is unwise to "keep company" with non-Catholics. The 
rule, of course, is frequently violated in countries like the United 
States, because the Catholic people are much more broad-minded 
than their priests and because they resent the narrow-minded, 
denominational outlook of priestly marriage rules. But the old, 
divisive, and narrow rule still exists on the Catholic statute 
books, and the priests attempt to enforce it where possible by 
appealing to the unconditional law of the Catholic code that a 
Catholic who is ostensibly married by a Protestant clergyman 
is not married at all. According to this rule, a Catholic who 
attempts marriage in this way commits so grave a sin that he 
incurs exclusion from the sacraments. The taboos against Catho- 
lic marriage to Jews are equally severe, and it is even more 
difficult to get a dispensation for marriage to a Jew than to a 

The total psychic effects of this Catholic policy of discrimina- 
tion are quite incalculable. They destroy community co-opera- 


tion and tolerance in countless ways. In the United States the 
rules of non-co-operation go so far that Catholic students attend- 
ing public high schools are officially forbidden to attend an 
inter-faith baccalaureate service in a public-school auditorium. 22 
The Church fears that mixing with the followers of other branches 
of Christendom on a level of equality will promote "indifferent- 
ism" in religion. This was the reason for the decree of the Holy 
Office of December 20, 1950, directing priests not to belong to 
Rotary Clubs, and suggesting that even Catholic laymen should 
regard such clubs with suspicion. The decree fell like a bomb- 
shell in American Rotary circles because few American Ro- 
tarians had realized that the Vatican's policy on such questions 
is so narrow. Actually, another Vatican Congregation, that of 
the Sacred Consistory, had ruled twenty-one years earlier that 
membership of priests in Rotary Clubs was "not expedient." 
This time, the American hierarchy, greatly embarrassed by the 
new revelation of reactionary thought at Rome, was notably 
unenthusiastic about explaining the reason for the ruling. The 
Rome correspondent of the National Catholic Welfare Confer- 
ence said: "Rotary follows a policy of neutrality on religion and 
thus relegates it to a place of secondary importance or less and 
favors the development of religious indifferentism." 23 This was 
undoubtedly the official reason for the ban, but another unspoken 
reason was that Rotary Clubs place Protestant preachers on 
the same level as Catholic priests at the same luncheon table, 
and the Church does not like such equalitarian conduct. 

This policy of separatism was underscored in 1951 in the case 
of the memorial all-faiths chapel erected in Philadelphia to the 
four American chaplains Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic 
who had died a heroic death on the troop transport Dorchester 
in 1943 by giving their life jackets to sailors when the ship was 
torpedoed. The building of the chapel was accompanied by an 
unprecedented publicity campaign for "brotherhood," and the 
structure was dedicated by President Truman; but no Catholic 
representative was present at the opening ceremonies, nor could 
any official Catholic altar be erected, because, as Monsignor 
Thomas McCarthy explained (Time, February 12, 1951), Cath- 
olic canon law forbids joint worship. 

Naturally, since American Catholics are usually quite broad- 


minded and generous in their attitudes toward other faiths, they 
bitterly resent this narrow-minded attitude of the Vatican. But 
they are quite helpless in attempting to destroy such rules them- 
selves, since they have no mechanism for modifying Catholic law. 
Even their bishops can do nothing more than protest mildly, 
keeping an eye on Rome to see how far they will be permitted to 
go without excommunication. 

On the world level, the Catholic policy of exclusion prevents 
any liberal bishop of the Church from collaborating with any 
movement for Christian unity which is not predicated upon com- 
plete surrender to Roman supremacy. The Vatican world-wide 
"unity" movement, called the Unity Octave, stages a drive every 
year for Christian unity with the bland announcement that its 
object is "the return of all separated Christians to communion 
with the Holy See." Its American director announced early in 
1951: "The reunion of Christendom can never be realized by 
coalescence of sects, but by return to the Church alone, never by 
'comprehension' but only by conversion." 24 The Vatican will 
not send any delegates to discuss co-operation with other de- 
nominations at the sessions of the World Council of Churches, 
the Christian organization which is attempting to federate the 
churches of the world. 

On the local level, the Catholic policy of exclusion means 
non-co-operation with Protestants in many community endeavors 
in non-Catholic countries; and in Catholic countries like Spain 
and Italy the policy means official government discrimination 
against Protestant activity. In Spain, because of Catholic pres- 
sure, Protestants are not even permitted to hold any outdoor 
religious celebrations or festivals. 25 

In Vatican theory the sin of Protestants is that they belong 
to an organization that has officially rejected Roman authority, 
the Voice of God on earth. Historically they are renegades, and 
renegades must be denounced even if their motives appear to 
be pure. This hatred of the renegade is even more marked in 
the case of a Catholic priest who has deliberately deserted his 
faith for heresy. Against such renegades the tactics of the church 
are vindictive and determined. 

The general principle used in handling priests and nuns who 
wish to renounce their vows and return to non-clerical life is that 


they are not permitted to resign voluntarily if they have made 
some open commitment against the Catholic faith. Then they 
must be purged affirmatively and not permitted to resign. The 
most extreme types of excommunicated apostates are branded 
with a label of vitandus and expelled publicly by name with the 
stipulation that they are to be avoided by all the faithful. After 
that, no good Catholic may be seen talking with them or doing 
business with them in any way. If they are merchants in a Catho- 
lic community, their business is destroyed. If they are authors, 
their works may not be read. If they are neighbors they must 
not be visited. If they die and are buried by mistake in a Catholic 
cemetery, their bones must be dug up promptly. The only ex- 
ception to the boycott rule is that when the vitandus is a member 
of a loyal Catholic family, his family may still live with him. 20 

When the Vatican is strong enough in any particular country, 
it writes such penalties against apostate priests into the laws of 
the nation. One of the prices which the Vatican extracted from 
Mussolini in 1929 for the signing of the Italian concordat with 
the Holy See was that all ex-priests should be treated by the 
Italian government as if they were vitandi. Article V of that 
concordat provides that "apostate or suspended priests may not 
be employed or continued in employment as teachers or in any 
office or post which brings them into direct contact with the 
public." 27 In spite of this provision priests are deserting the 
Church in Italy in considerable numbers and attempting to sur- 
vive as best they can. Sometimes 'they are forced back into the 
Church under conditions of great humiliation because they can- 
not find work suitable for their capacities. 

The experience of my Roman friend Y, a former priest, may 
be considered typical. Y is a cultured man of middle age who 
holds a doctorate in classics in addition to his theological degree 
from the Gregorian University in Rome. After teaching in pri- 
vate schools for several years, he decided, rather late in life, to 
become a missionary priest. He left his teaching post, studied for 
the priesthood, and was ordained. The war prevented his im- 
mediate assignment as a missionary, and he began teaching as a 
priest in a Catholic high school. 

His studies had awakened various theological questions in 
his mind, and he began to doubt certain orthodox historical 


doctrines. Some of his views were discovered by his pupils and 
reported by their parents to the inquisitors of the Holy Office. 
The Holy Office discharged him as a teacher and priest and ex- 
communicated him as a Catholic on three grounds that he 
questioned the infallibility of the Pope, that he doubted the 
Trinity, and that he challenged the philosophy of St. Thomas 
Aquinas. He applied for a position in three non-Catholic schools, 
but in each case the school authorities did not dare to employ 
an ex-priest, though no question had ever been raised as to his 
teaching competence or his personal morality. Mimeographed 
letters were sent out by the Church to all parents in the district 
where he lived directing them not to employ him as a tutor for 
their children. Two strong-arm men from Catholic Action 
warned him not to organize the ex-priests of his region. When 
it was rumored that he was going to the United States to obtain 
help for ex-priests, the Papal Nuncio to the government of Italy, 
Monsignor Duca, wrote to the Ministry of Interior and the 
Foreign Office asking that he be denied a passport. Y is now 
eking out a living by tutoring a few children of Waldensians in 

The Vatican directly encourages such discrimination. In de- 
fending the provision against ex-priests in the concordat, Civiltd 
Cattolica, the Jesuit magazine which probably deserves to be 
rated as the most intellectual organ of world Catholicism, de- 
clared, in March 1950, that "apostate and censured priests are 
garbage." When Church of Christ missionaries from Texas were 
attacked in 1950 in Frascati, near Rome, after a local priest had 
denounced them in a sermon, Civilta Cattolica condoned the 
violence, deplored the fact that the government had permitted 
the Protestant missionaries to stay so long in Italy, and said that 
"nothing more has happened than a little innocuous stone- 
throwing." 28 

The Socialist Villains 

The chief target of the parallel Communist policy is democratic 
socialism. Democratic socialists, according to the Kremlin, are 
not socialists but fascists, and no language is too strong for 
reviling them. They are the arch-traitors of the working class 
and the betrayers of Karl Marx. When the French Communist 
Party sent out a secret questionnaire to its members asking for 


autobiographical data, it grouped the following questions to- 
gether: "Are there members of the Socialist Party in your 
family? In your wife's family? Are there Trotskyites? Are there 
policemen, gendarmes, or police informers in your family? In 
your wife's family?" 29 

No Communist caricature of an American millionaire could 
possibly be more vindictive than the typical Kremlin characteriza- 
tion of non-Communist labor leaders like Attlee and Bevin of 
Great Britain, or Green, Murray, and Reuther of the United 
States. Moscow's favorite villains of 1949 were these non- 
Communist leaders of American and British labor, and such 
European leaders as Kurt Schumacher, of the Social Democratic 
Party of West Germany, and Giuseppe Saragat, leader of the 
right-wing Socialist Workers Party of Italy. 

In Kremlin theory Communist renegades, or fellow travelers 
who have once co-operated with the Communists and then re- 
pented, are even more vile and despicable than socialists who 
have never been inside the fold. When Henry Wallace turned 
against Soviet foreign policy after the Communist invasion of 
South Korea in June 1950, his character in the Soviet press was 
immediately transformed, and every motive which had previously 
been described as noble was made to seem treacherous and guile- 
ful. "Wallace is trying to mask his cowardly desertion by canting 
about his devotion to peace," said New Times of Moscow in 
1950. "His subterfuges can deceive nobody. His desertion to 
the camp of the warmongers has shown that he was not a sincere 
supporter of peace, democracy, progress and the ideal for which 
he was campaigning only six months ago. Evidently his position 
is wholly and entirely determined by pecuniary and other ties 
with the monopoly circles which direct the present aggressive 
policy of the United States." 30 

After 1949 all the villains in the Communist rogues' gallery 
were temporarily overshadowed by the arch-villain, Marshal 
Tito of Yugoslavia. Within the span of a few weeks, the per- 
sonality of this sturdy anti-Stalinist Communist changed In the 
Soviet press from that of a smiling and gracious comrade to 
that of a snarling and oppressive dictator. "The Tito Clique of 
Murderers and Spies" was the headline title of an article in the 
chief theoretical magazine of the American Communist Party 


in January 1950. It symbolized well the savage hatred of the 
Communist machine for any devotee who has turned renegade. 
Here are some samples of the Party invective directed against 

There are no national interests which Tito would not betray on the or- 
ders of Washington The imperialist servant, Judas Tito, carried out the 

orders of his masters to the dot. . . . The Yugoslav rulers demagogically 
and insolently deceive the people, alleging they are building Socialism in 
Yugoslavia. But it is clear to every Marxist that there can be no talk of 
building Socialism in Yugoslavia when the Tito Clique has broken with 
the Soviet Union. . . . The fascist terror dictatorship of the Tito clique 
against the mass of the working people is carried out for the benefit of 
foreign capital. . . . The anti-popular policy of this agency of imperial- 
ism should be unanimously condemned by world opinion. 31 

Of course, the Soviet discipline of exclusion is infinitely more 
dangerous than the Catholic discipline because it is enforced 
by a great military machine and it affects the free movement of 
several hundred million persons in the countries of the Soviet 
orbit. The victim of Soviet power is not only prevented from 
making mental excursions into the areas of liberal democracy 
and democratic socialism, but he is physically restrained from 
contacts with non-Communist civilization. No resident of the 
Soviet Union may leave his country without special permission, 
and the same prohibition is applied to the peoples of the satellite 
countries in the Soviet orbit. In effect, Stalin has locked the 
Russian door and thrown away the key. Citizens of the Soviet 
Union are not permitted to go abroad, and since a decree of 
February 15, 1947, marriage to non-Soviet citizens has been 
forbidden. Even the millions of Jews in Russia who would like 
to go to the new Jewish homeland of Israel are being prevented 
from leaving, perhaps because the government of the new Israel 
is predominantly socialist, and the Kremlin will never compro- 
mise with socialism. 

The Kremlin, in its desire to maintain the purity of Com- 
munism by exclusion, has even developed recently a philosophy 
of inbreeding which is an exact parallel to that of the Catholic 
Church. It is attempting to persuade its Young Communists 
not to marry outside the Faith, especially if the prospective bride 
or groom wants marriage by a priest. In March 1950, a Young 
Communist from Kalingrad province asked the editors of Kom- 


somolskaya Pravda a question: "The statutes of the Young Com- 
munist League say the members must fight against survivals of 
religious superstitions. I intend to marry a girl, not a YCL 
member, who wants a church wedding. I would like you to ex- 
plain whether I can go through with this ceremony." This was 
the answer of the official Young Communist paper: 

It seems to us, Comrade M., that you have not given the matter deep 
enough thought. . . . 

Our youth must grow free from survivals of the old, including religious 
superstitions. . . . That is why the YCL obligates its members to fight 
religious superstitions and to explain to youth their harm. . . . 

Such an act, if you perform it, directly violates the YCL statutes. It 
contradicts Communist ethics and is incompatible with the title of Young 
Communist. It would be an unprincipled act. . . . 

Some young people in our country are still under the influence of 
religious superstitions. They go to church, participate in religious rites, 
avail themselves of the services of clairvoyants and believe in auguries. 
We must resolutely conduct patient explanatory work among these young 
people, answering the questions that puzzle them, and convince them of 
the absurdity and harmfulness of superstitions and prejudices. And now 
suppose that a Young Communist, instead of waging this campaign as the 
YCL statutes demand, gives way to these backward feelings. Judge for 
yourself whether one can consider such a Young Communist a progressive 
person in principle. 

Have you thought of the social significance of such an act? One's atti- 
tude toward religion is not a private matter with a Young Communist. 
. . . What would the other young people think of you when they discover 
that you have not only failed to change your fiancee's opinions and to 
explain to her where she errs, but that you yourself have compromised 
your principles by going off to church? Do you know what young people 
will say about you? They will say you are not a true Young Communist. 

Forgive us for our bluntness, Comrade M. . . . Try yourself to under- 
stand and to explain to your fiancee that your family will not be made 
strong by the church ceremony, but by deep feelings, unity of interests, 
and sincere friendship. That happiness is in your own hands and does not 
require any "heavenly" blessing. 32 

The Management of Truth: the Kremlin 

MODERN MAN HAS LEARNED a painful lesson from the rise of 
dictatorships: The same machinery that has been created to 
spread truth throughout the world can be used with equal success 
for misinforming the world. In fact, the management of truth 
is a necessary part of the apparatus of power wherever dictator- 
ship suppresses freedom of thought. 

Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin have given the world the greatest 
demonstrations in recent times of the power of systematic de- 
ception. Even the Vatican, with all its lofty moral idealism, has 
stooped to the use of some of the same devices. In this chapter 
and the next, I propose to look at some of the devices used by 
both the Kremlin and the Vatican to maintain themselves in 
power through the manipulation, the distortion, and the shading 
of truth. 

Lying for the Faith is quite basic in Communist philosophy, 
and the practice goes back to pre-revolutionary days. Machia- 
velli acquired a certain reputation for cynicism because, as 
interpreter of the politics of medieval Italy, he spoke rather 
frankly about political motives and goals; but Machiavelli never 
exalted deception in human relations as systematically as Lenin. 
Lenin was an extremely blunt and forthright person, but he 
calmly brushed aside all obligations in the realm of truth-telling 
whenever falsehood would serve the revolution more effectively. 
He believed in truth, especially for school children, but according 
to his code the obligation to tell the truth should never be per- 
mitted to stand in the way of a Communist purpose. If truth 
became inconvenient it was branded as "bourgeois morality." 
"There are no morals in politics," Lenin said once, "there is only 
expediency." 1 



It should be remembered that Lenin and his associates did 
not acknowledge that they were evil or treacherous in making 
the choice for the revolution against conventional morals. In 
their own eyes they were serving the cause of ultimate truth, 
and the end justified the means. They were ready to die as 
conspirators for the "higher" truth, and many of them did die with 
all the heroism and devotion of the early Christian martyrs. 

"Ilyitch never lies to us"; 2 that, according to William Henry 
Chamberlin, is what the Communists of Russia said about Lenin 
and his truth-telling. Their devotion to truth, andXenin's devo- 
tion, was an instrument of the revolution to be turned against 
the upper classes when it seemed appropriate. "Very frequently," 
said Lenin in 1920 to a Young Communist League convention, 
"the bourgeoisie makes the charge that we Communists deny 
all morality. That is one of their methods of confusing the issue. 
. . . We deny all morality taken from superhuman or non-class 
conceptions. . . . We say that our morality is wholly subordi- 
nated to the interests of the class struggle." 3 

The Kremlin's devices of deception begin with its own people. 
It must keep them thoroughly misinformed about their relative 
position in the modern world. It must teach them the inferiority 
of all capitalist civilizations, and it must exalt Russian accomp- 
lishments to the heavens, even if the extreme claims arouse 
Homeric laughter in the whole world. The Kremlin does not 
need to fear the effect of derision upon the Russian people be- 
cause they never hear the laughter of the outside world. 

A great deal of the exaggeration of past Russian accomplish- 
ments is quite new in Kremlin strategy. In the early days of the 
revolution nothing was too harsh to say about Russian national 
heroes of the past. Ivan the Terrible was really terrible, and 
Tsarist generals were wholly lacking in personal merit. Since 
then, Ivan the Terrible has become a national hero by special 
permission of Stalin, and a laudatory motion picture about him 
has been produced, which gives him a permanent place in the 
Russian Hall of Fame. 

Stalin and his associates began to appreciate the value of using 
national feeling to support Communist policies in the 1930's, 
and during World War II, when German armies were fighting 
on Russian soil, there was an immense new emphasis on Soviet 


patriotism. A deliberate attempt was made to induce every 
Russian to appreciate the glory of Ms Fatherland. Since the 
war the emphasis has continued, and the revived spirit of nation- 
alism has been systematically associated with Stalin and Com- 
munism. The campaign for glorifying national accomplishments 
has gone so far that it has produced a whole set of mythical facts 
designed to reinforce Russian national pride and, at the same 
time, belittle the accomplishments of all other peoples. Here 
are some of the typical claims about Russian national accomp- 
lishments which the Communist newspapers present as facts: 

( 1 ) That Russia won the war. 

Yes, the Soviet Union even won the war against Japan. In 
general, the Russian press played down the help given to the 
Soviet Union throughout the war by the nations of the west. 
When the Red soldiers became enthusiastic about the lend-lease 
arms that were being sent to Russia by the United States, the 
Communist agitators in the army told them that it was only 
obsolete or discarded equipment. 4 Throughout the war, in fact, 
the Communist press gave the Russian people the impression 
that they were fighting the war almost single-handed, by empha- 
sizing the drive for a second front and by failing to give due 
credit to the Allied campaigns in Africa and the Orient. When 
American and British troops finally made their landing in Nor- 
mandy, Stalin praised the enterprise warmly, but his gratitude 
was very short-lived. As soon as the war seemed safely won, 
in 1945, Russia repudiated further help, and even during the 
closing months of the war Pravda described the Normandy land- 
ing rather patronizingly as "entering Germany by the back 
door." "We proved to be the only power capable, not only of 
halting the dark surge of fascism, but also of inflicting on it a 
decisive and fatal defeat," 5 say B. P. Yesipov and N. K. Gon- 
charov in their textbook on pedagogy, used in the training of 
Russian teachers. The school textbooks which had contained a 
favorable mention of the Normandy landing were quickly revised 
and virtually all mention of the American and British contribu- 
tion to victory was eliminated. V-E Day, which had been made 
into a national holiday, was promptly abolished. 

"The second front," said Marshal Sokolovsky in Pravda in 


1949, "was opened only when it became evident that the Soviet 
Union was capable alone, without the help of the Allies, of 
defeating Fascist Germany and liberating the peoples of Europe 
from the Fascist-German aggressors. The Anglo-American troops 
landing on the European continent encountered trifling resistance 
from the Hitlerite Army, since the chief German forces were con- 
centrated on the Soviet-German front." 6 This emphasis upon 
Russia's role in the war has been imposed upon all of the Soviet's 
satellites. One of the reasons given for purging Wladyslaw Go- 
muika, Communist deputy prime minister in the left-wing 
government of Poland, was that he failed to glorify sufficiently 
the role of the Red Army in "liberating" Poland. In Prague in 
1949 the reading books for third-grade students in the schools 
told of the Red Army's liberation of the city without mentioning 
any other army although General Patton's American forces 
were so close to Prague at the time of Russia's entry that he could 
easily have liberated the city with American troops if the Allied 
command had directed him to do so. 

The Kremlin has even circulated a picture of the "surrender of 
Japan" in which Russian soldiers are thrust into the foreground 
as if they, in their three-week war effort, had been largely re- 
sponsible for Japan's defeat. The newsreel version of the sur- 
render entirely omitted General MacArthur and pictured a 
Japanese officer surrendering to a Russian general! 

(2) That the Russians discovered penicillin. 

It wasn't Sir Alexander Fleming of Great Britain who dis- 
covered penicillin, but three Russians who performed the service 
for mankind in 1871. That, at least, is what Pravda says. The 
names of the discoverers were Polotebnov, Manassein, and Gu- 
kovsky. For some reason or other, development was held in 
abeyance for about fifty years because the Russians lacked the 
equipment to take advantage of the discovery. 7 

(3 ) That the Russians invented the airplane. 

It wasn't the Wright Brothers. A Russian scientist, it seems, 
designed a monoplane with three steam engines in 1882, and a 
Russian pilot named Golubev successfully flew it. The proof is 
contained in Russian newspapers printed in the year 1882, ac- 


cording to the newspaper published for young Communists, the 
Komsomolskaya Pravda, which has a circulation of more than 

one million. 8 

(4) That the Communist system is more productive than capi- 

The Russian workers are told that in nations like the United 
States millions of workers are constantly unemployed and that 
the standard of living is a starvation standard. The Australian 
economist, Colin Clark, has revealed in careful studies that the 
productivity of the United States, based on real income for man- 
hours worked, is approximately eight and one-half times that of 
the Soviet Union. The New York Times published other figures 
in 1947 which showed that an American worker in that year had 
to work 7 minutes to earn a pound of rye bread, and a Russian 
worker 31 minutes; an American worker 48 l /2 minutes for a 
pound of butter and a Russian worker 642 minutes; an American 
v/orker 1684 minutes for a man's woolen suit and a Russian 
worker 34,815 minutes. 9 Joseph Newman, New York Herald 
Tribune correspondent in Moscow for more than two years, 
expressed the opinion in 1949 that "the Russian is still one of 
the poorest supplied workers in the world." 10 

(5) That Russia has abolished classes and class injustice. 
Many Soviet leaders have formally announced that the Soviet 

Union has attained the status of a "classless society," a society. 
according to Molotov, "which cannot exist in any other states, 
divided as they are into classes of oppressors and oppressed." 
Stalin said in 1936 that "there are no longer any antagonistic 
classes in [Soviet] society." 11 It is true that the Communists 
have abolished the classes of Tsarist society; but they have intro- 
duced a new hierarchy of ranks, titles, and uniforms into govern- 
ment service, and the distance between the Communist ruling 
group and the masses of the people seems to be almost as great 
as in the days of the Tsar. During the last war the ratio between 
the pay of the lowest second lieutenant and a private soldier in 
the Red Army was 57 to I. 12 

Millions of Soviet citizens have been put into civilian uniforms 
whicli carry badges of rank in the form of collar tabs and sleeve 


insignia. "Thus, in effect," says Dr. Alex Inkeles of Harvard, 
"Bolshevik leaders have restored to the Soviet Union the system 
of chiny, or formal civil service ranks, which was a central 
aspect of the Tsarist system of social differentiation and had 
traditionally been treated by the Bolsheviks as one of the para- 
mount symbols of class exploitation and stratification." 13 The 
new class system makes it possible for many Russians to earn 
100,000 rubles or more a year, ten times the approximate aver- 
age wage in industry, and they do not pay as high a proportion in 
income taxes on this excess as the average factory worker pays 
on his lowly wage. 

(6) That Russia has the only true democracy. 

"Unlike parliamentary democracy," said Molotov on the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, "the democ- 
racy of the Soviets is a true democracy of the people." "Not a 
single capitalist state has truly universal suffrage," according 
to Andrei Vishinsky. "The Soviet people," said a writer in 
Pravda in 1949, "are the most advanced people of our epoch. 
. . . The historically doomed exploiter class" is now in its "mor- 
tal agony." And he continued: 

At one time the advanced bourgeois west laid claim to the role of the 
indisputable and historically-decreed "teacher" of its "pupil" backward 
Russia. . . . The dialectic of history changed the roles of "teachers" 
and "pupils." The capitalist world is experiencing the insoluble crisis of 
bourgeois culture, its spiritual agony. From now on the Soviet Union is 
the bulwark of World Civilization and progress. 14 

In this "true democracy" of the Soviet Union, no opposition 
party has been permitted to offer a slate of candidates since 1917. 
In Communist theory this absence of an opposition is not im- 
portant because numerical majorities and numerical minorities 
are not essential to democracy. What counts is the "democratic 
potential" in a nation. When the Communists did not at once 
capture control of East Germany and Soviet Berlin by a majority 
vote, Joseph Starobin, a staff editor of the New York Daily 
Worker, explained the Communist philosophy of majorities thus: 

Admittedly the Ebert [Berlin Soviet Zone] government does not repre- 
sent a numerical majority; but it represents the democratic potential of 
Berlin, the desire for a unified city, and for a solution of the city's needs 


on a unified basis, in harmony with the economy of the Soviet zone of 
which Berlin is a part. Only a reactionary government would represent a 
numerical majority. This is the Achilles heel of the whole idea of elec- 
tions, it seems to me, in a nation of moral paraplegics, who need skillful 
democratic therapy, and not the chance to vote their gripes and their 
illnesses. 15 

The Cosmopolitan Villain 

Since every Communist propaganda campaign must have a 
villain, a convenient new villain has been created in recent years, 
embodying the attitude toward non-Russian culture which the 
Kremlin wishes to suppress. It is called "cosmopolitanism." In 
general, a cosmopolitan is a citizen of the Soviet Union or a 
satellite country who does not quite appreciate the Communist 
claim of super-excellence for all Russian achievement. Such a 
person must be presented to the public as a special type of 
monster who lacks mental perspective and human sympathy. It 
must be shown that he is tainted with "bourgeois nationalism." 

One of Russia's leading magazines, Voprosy Filosofii, defines 
cosmopolitanism as follows: 

Cosmopolitanism is a reactionary ideology preaching renunciation of 
national traditions, disdain for the distinguishing features in the national 
development of each people, and renunciation of the feelings of a 
national dignity and national pride. Cosmopolitanism preaches a nihilis- 
tic attitude of the individual toward his nationality toward its past, 
present and future. With lofty phrases about the community of interests 
of all mankind, about "world culture" and the reciprocal influence and 
interpenetration of cultures, cosmopolitanism conceals either an imperialis- 
tic, Great-Power chauvinism toward other nations or a nihilistic attitude 
toward one's own nation, a betrayal of its national interests. The ideology 
of cosmopolitanism is hostile to, and radically contradicts, Soviet patriot- 
ism the basic feature which characterizes the world outlook of Soviet 



It will be seen that cosmopolitanism is any form of interna- 
tional sentiment which the Kremlin does not like. In practice, 
the crusade against cosmopolitanism imposes a kind of compul- 
sory lying upon all the faithful. The good Communist must lie 
about the United Nations because it stands for "the community 
of interests of all mankind," He must lie about Russian accomp- 
lishments because Russia is the "socialist motherland." He must 
lie about capitalist achievements because capitalism is the pri- 
mary devil in all Soviet propaganda. 


In 1949 the drive against cosmopolitanism went so far that 
the Ministry of Education weeded out 139 of 350 university 
textbooks because "they contained elements of fawning and 
servility to capitalist culture . . . and did not demonstrate the 
priority of our natural sciences." 17 Any sign of loyalty to any 
non-Russian culture is suspect. One reason for the development 
of anti-Zionism in the Soviet Union is that Communist leaders 
distrust the independent Jewish spirit as too critical for "national 
unity." The Jews have been described as "homeless cosmopoli- 
tans," and one voluble Stalinist critic, V. B. Lutsky, has declared 
that the Zionist movement is "utilized at the present time as a 
weapon of subversive activity of Anglo-American warmongers in 
the countries of the world." 18 Some observers believe that this 
anti-Zionism has already become a new type of anti-Semitism 
not, basically, religious anti-Semitism, but a distrust of Jews as 
persons who have a broad outlook upon international affairs and 
who, therefore, constitute a threat to the narrow outlook of Com- 
munist opinion. 18 There is no room in the Soviet Union today 
for any persons who question the Communist outlook or the 
Communist superiority over non-Communist cultures. 

In February 1951, the Jewish Labor Committee, headed by 
prominent American trade unionists, voted to present the case 
against the Soviet's new anti-Semitism to the United Nations as 
a denial of human rights under its charter. The disclosures of 
the new Russian policy were shocking to those who had not 
followed the recent developments in the Soviet Union. A report 
of the facts disclosed that in the Soviet Union all Jewish schools 
had been closed, all Yiddish newspapers silenced, and all Yiddish 
writers liquidated. In Rumania 68,000 Jews had been expelled 
from the Communist Party, and all Jewish schools, newspapers 
and synagogues had been closed. 20 

Even the scenery of Russia and its natural splendors must not 
be compared invidiously with any bourgeois scenery. A fifth- 
grade geography textbook was eliminated from Russian schools 
in 1948 because it made Niagara Falls "much more interesting 
than Lake Baikal." Every published description of life in the 
west must be drawn in such a way that non-Communist civiliza- 
tion appears bestial and depraved. 

The mere appearance of doubt about Russian superiority in 


the mind of a university scholar may bring swift punishment 
from a cultural commission. Dr. George Lukacs, one of Hun- 
gary's most noted philosophers and president of Hungary's 
Academy of Sciences, was giving a lecture one night after his 
country had come under Communist rule when he made the 
statement that a Communist country was "potentially" more 
capable of great achievements in science and the arts than 
capitalist countries. That was too mild an endorsement for the 
members of the- Central Committee of the Hungarian Com- 
munist Party. They wanted to know why Dr. Lukacs had not 
said that Communist countries were actually greater in their 
achievements. He must be tainted with cosmopolitanism. He 
was bitterly condemned, and ultimately forced to resign. 21 

The case of Eugene Varga and his compulsory prevarication 
is worth noting. One feature of the campaign against cosmopoli- 
tanism is that western capitalism must always be pictured as if 
it were in a state of approaching collapse. If it shows signs of 
prosperity, those signs must be described as deceptive for col- 
lapse is just around the corner. Part of this apocalyptic theory 
was that western capitalism would collapse promptly at the end 
of the war when artificial wartime demands on production were 
withdrawn. Eugene Varga, member of the Soviet Academy of 
Sciences, challenged this notion indirectly in his own magazine 
and in his book, Changes in the Economy of Capitalism as a 
Result of the Second World War, and predicted that a major 
economic depression in capitalist countries was not probable 
before 1955. He suggested that America might maintain a high 
standard of living after the war. This was not acceptable doc- 
trine for the Party's prophets who had been basing their political 
policy on the hypothesis that western capitalism would be too 
busy after the war with its own agonies to stop Soviet aggression. 
Varga was promptly denounced as a prevaricator and a tool of 
western influence in an economists' conference which had been 
called to dissect him. He stood his ground for a short time but 
was finally forced to recant, and his magazine was abolished. 22 
He is still functioning in the Soviet Union only because he has 
accepted political guidance for his economic chart-making. 

Meanwhile, the doctrine of internationalism in world affairs 
has been redefined to make Russian nationalism the only true 


form of internationalism. "An internationalist/' says Stalin, a is 
he who unreservedly, without any hesitation, and unconditionally, 
is ready to defend the USSR because the USSR constitutes the 
base of the World Revolutionary movement and to defend, to 
advance this revolutionary movement is impossible without de- 
fending the USSR." 23 This identification of internationalism and 
Soviet patriotism runs through all the discussion of world policy 
in the Soviet press. A writer on the victory of socialism said in 
Pravda in January 1949 that the chief Communist task was the 
task "of arousing in the people the sacred ideas of Soviet patri- 
otism, of burning hatred for capitalism and for all manifestations 
of the bourgeois ideology; of educating our people in the spirit 
of proletarian internationalism, and cultivating love for the party 
of Lenin-Stalin." 24 Democratic internationalism is never dis- 
cussed in the official press except in terms of violent abuse; it 
is assumed that proletarian internationalism is the only genuine 

In accordance with this gospel the propaganda for interna- 
tionalism in the satellite countries also is substantially propa- 
ganda for Russia. The Communists attempt to de-nationalize 
and de-westernize all their subject people, and they do this while 
still professing opposition to all forms of imperialism. The very 
word "imperialism" has been reoriented in their vocabulary until 
it has become exclusively a label for the non-Communist variety. 
The leaders still profess the gospel of Lenin that Communists 
"will always combat every attempt to influence national self- 
determination by violence or by any injustice from without/' 25 
and it does not disturb their consciences because they never admit 
that Kremlin policy can be "injustice from without." 

In Communist-controlled Hungary in December 1949, accord- 
ing to the New York Times, a Greater Budapest Library Com- 
mittee was formed to "launch a book campaign to increase hatred 
of imperialists and their base agents and simultaneously love of 
the Soviet Union." 26 One of the casualties of the campaign was 
the Hungarian Year Book which had printed statistics of prosti- 
tution and crime which "showed the working class in an un- 
favorable light." Other casualties included such "western" adver- 
tising terms on signboards as "nylon" and "jeep." If Hungarians 
under Communist control insisted on demanding nylons and 


jeeps, they should at least have the good taste to find some pro- 
Communist names for such questionable products. 

Many of us who call ourselves liberals were inclined at one 
time to smile rather patronizingly at Communist claims of Rus- 
sian accomplishment and to consider the whole campaign against 
foreign superiority a passing phase of a new and immature cul- 
ture. I remember that that was my own attitude when I heard 
exaggerated claims of Communist glories and corresponding 
bourgeois decadence during my brief sojourn in the Soviet Union 
in the 1920's. Perhaps, I reasoned, this childish egotism is merely 
a defense against an inner feeling of insecurity. Perhaps it will 
wear off as the new regime becomes more mature. 

All of us who adopted this charitable attitude in the 1920's 
were shocked out of our complacence when Stalin, Molotov, and 
associates began in the 1930's to use deliberate deception and 
trickery on a grand scale in their international dealings. The 
feeling of distrust came to a climax after World War II when the 
Soviet regime gave so many exhibitions of crude dishonesty in 
international dealings that it lost any last remnant of diplomatic 

In August 1939, I was living on the coast of Brittany in a 
seaside hotel operated by Communist-dominated labor unions 
of Paris. (It happened to be the cheapest hotel in the neighbor- 
hood.) To find out what was going on, I attended several Com- 
munist meetings. In the period up to August 23, before the 
Hitler-Stalin pact was signed, the language of every French 
Communist's speech was almost monotonously anti-Hitler. 
Fascism was the great enemy of the working class. War to the 
death against Hitler was the supreme duty of all good men. 
Suddenly, like a thunderclap, came the news of an agreement 
between Stalin and Hitler. It was, as later revelations made clear, 
a mutual spoils agreement in which Stalin pledged non-inter- 
ference in Hitler's war and agreed to accept in return the Baltic 
States, Bessarabia, and a large part of Poland, while Hitler stole 
the major part of Poland. 

After the deal was announced, absolute and stupefied silence 
reigned in French Communist circles for about forty-eight hours. 
The ideological floor of the world had collapsed under the French 
Communists' feet. Their moral values had been turned upside 


down, and at first they were completely bewildered; they had 
no words for the new language of appeasement. 

Then came the slow recovery. The first day's issue of the 
Paris Humanite after the announcement of the new pact was 
terse and evasive. The editors did not quite dare at first to 
express revised opinions and abandon their old cliches. By the 
second day after the thunderclap, the new verbiage of deception 
had arrived in canned speeches from Moscow. The Party press 
passed along the phrases of appeasement, and all over France the 
Communist partisans began to express the new line. Overnight 
Hitler became not a unique devil but one of several evil men in 
the world. He was not necessarily the worst among the evil men. 
Communist strategy, it seems, called for a compromise on occa- 
sion even with evil. The compromise with Hitler was temporary 
and necessary, and it represented ultimate anti-fascist grand 
strategy. It seemed to give new strength to Hitler but that was 
only an illusion, since it gave the glorious Soviet Union breathing 
time to gather strength for the ultimate struggle for the people's 
democracy. British, French, and American imperialism had 
forced the Soviet Union into this necessary compromise. After 
all, imperialisms were much alike, and if the great Stalin could 
successfully compromise with one imperialism in order to defend 
the interests of the working class against other imperialisms, this 
was proof of sound morality and superior wisdom. Stalin had 
outwitted western capitalism, and the temporary compromise 
would never have been necessary // western capitalism had stood 
with Stalin against Hitler at Munich. 

The Hitler-Stalin pact and the transparently deceptive defenses 
of the Soviet Union in 1939 proved to be the final straw for 
most western liberals. If they had retained any charity in their 
hearts for the Kremlin's ideals, the tolerance soon disappeared. 
To this day, one of the best tests for distinguishing an honest 
believer in liberal democracy from a Communist puppet is to 
confront him with the question: Where did you stand in regard 
to Stalin between August 23, 1939, when the Hitler-Stalin pact 
was signed, and June 22, 1941, when Hitler invaded the Soviet 

When Japan and Germany had been defeated in World War 
II, and the secret archives of the German Foreign Office were 


made available to the world, some of the truth about Russian 
foreign policy during the Hitler-Stalin period became available. 
Von Ribbentrop, before he was hanged at Nuremberg, revealed 
that Hitler and Stalin through the good offices of Molotov and 
Von Ribbentrop had made a secret deal in Moscow in 1939, 
not announced with the public agreement, under which Russia 
would get the Baltic States and Bessarabia, and Poland would be 
divided. The State Department later published the documents. 27 
Russia, soon after Germany marched into Poland, occupied 
Polish territory up to the Vistula and Bug rivers, and Molotov 
wired "my congratulations and greetings' 9 to Hitler on the en- 
trance of German troops into Warsaw. 

Stalin, acutely embarrassed by the need to justify in official 
propaganda his own and Hitler's invasions of Poland, tried to 
get the Fiihrer to co-operate in a propaganda fraud "to make 
the intervention of the Soviet Union plausible to the masses 
and at the same time to avoid giving the Soviet Union the ap- 
pearance of an aggressor." Hitler was asked to permit Stalin 
to pretend to the Russian people that the Russians were entering 
Poland to protect their Ukrainian and White Russian "brothers" 
who were "threatened" by Germany. It was conceded that this 
would be "jarring to German sensibilities" but so what? Hit- 
ler did not relish being described as the imperialist villain for the 
Russian masses, and he never officially agreed to the fraud, but 
Stalin circulated the lie anyway, apologizing privately for the 
reflection on the pure motives of Hitler. The captured German 
documents show how the Kremlin, because of its complete con- 
trol over the agencies of information, can manufacture and 
circulate successfully any propaganda fraud which will serve its 

When France fell before the Nazi armies, Molotov sent Hitler 
"the warmest congratulations of the Soviet Government on the 
splendid success of the German armed forces." Russia at this 
time was helping Hitler with huge quantities of wheat, oil, and 
cotton. The records of the German Foreign Office, and the 
diaries of leaders like Prince Fumimaro Konoye of Japan, as 
well as the records of the former German Chief of Staff, General 
Franz Haider, show that Russia was discussing a plan to divide 
up a large part of the world with Germany, Japan, and Italy, 


and that India and Iran were to belong to the Russian sphere of 
power. Hitler, in a conversation with Molotov on November 12, 
1940, offered the Kremlin full partnership in his Axis and sug- 
gested co-operation in opposing the United States and its "im- 
perialistic policy" by setting up "in the whole of Europe and 
Africa some kind of Monroe Doctrine." He said that "the Rus- 
sian people could develop without in the least prejudicing German 
interests," and Molotov agreed that this was quite correct and 
that co-operation was "entirely acceptable in principle" but that 
the USSR must "co-operate as a partner" in such a deal. 

The deal was never consummated, not because the Kremlin 
had any qualms of conscience but because Stalin had angered 
Hitler to the point of open warfare by demanding too large a 
share of spoils for Russia. The Kremlin demanded as part of its 
sphere of influence not only India and Iran but also all the 
Balkans, including strategic naval bases that would have given 
the Soviet Union outlets to the Mediterranean and virtual com- 
mand of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Hitler, in blind 
rage, committed the greatest blunder of his career by striking 
back with an invasion of Russia. 

By the time the Korean war began in June 1950 with the 
invasion of South Korea by North Korean armies, the standard 
Soviet deceptions in diplomacy had become so notorious that the 
world simply jeered at them. In June 1950, said the Kremlin, 
the South Koreans and the United States "invaded" North Korea 
and started a war of aggression. The world could see the Big Lie 
in operation even more clearly than in 1939. In every nation 
which had a Communist party, the Kremlin representatives stood 
up and repeated the refrain in the same words. Togliatti in Italy, 
Thorez in France, Foster in the United States, Pollitt in England, 
and all the other selected Soviet agents throughout the world, 
each in his respective capital, repeated the refrain that the at- 
tacked were the attackers and that western imperialism was on 
the march against an innocent People's Republic. At a Com- 
munist rally in Rome and in the Italian Chamber of Deputies, I 
heard the same phrases from Communist and left-wing Socialist 
leaders that came from similar leaders in other capitals from 
Peiping to Washington. In each case the United States govern- 
ment, whose motives in the Korean war were irreproachable, 


was pictured in lurid oratory and even more lurid posters and 
cartoons as an ogre of aggressive imperialism whose designs 
included the conquest of Asia for Wall Street. When Jacob 
Malik of the Soviet Union imported the big lie into the Security 
Council of the United Nations at Lake Success, and repeated 
it ad infinitum for thirty days while he served as chairman, men 
were embarrassed to hear other men present such childishly 
specious deceptions. The Kremlin, it appeared, was wholly in- 
different to the opinion of the western world so long as it could 
feed its own particular type of prevarication to the controlled 
press of its own countries. 

I recite these unpleasant events not because they are news to 
Americans who read the newspapers but because they serve to re- 
mind us that the Kremlin has developed deceptive diplomacy to a 
point never before equaled in all history. Beginning with the 
assumption that all bourgeois values are only masks for selfish 
purposes, it has outstripped Talleyrand and surpassed Hitler in 
the prefabricated diplomatic lie. Now we can see that Stalin 
really meant what he said in a statement about bourgeois diplo- 
macy in 1 9 1 3 : "Words must have no relation to action other- 
wise what kind of diplomacy is it? Words are one thing, actions 
another. Good words are a mask for concealment of bad deeds. 
Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden 
iron." 28 Stalin intended his statement to apply only to the capi- 
talist diplomacy of the period, but he has always regarded all 
non-Communist diplomacy as hopelessly insincere, and he has 
never felt any obligation to adhere to promises made to bourgeois 
diplomats unless it suited his convenience. 

Between 1939 and 1950 the Soviet Union probably broke 
more solemn treaties and international agreements than any other 
power in history in a similar span of time. 

At Yalta in February 1945, the Soviet Union had participated 
in the pledge that the liberated peoples of eastern Europe should 
be free to "create democratic institutions of their own choice," 
and that governments should be set up "responsive to the will of 
the people." Russia's interpretation of that pledge was made in 
the words of Stalin: "Any freely elected government in these 
countries will be an anti-Soviet government, and we cannot allow 
that" 28 * The United States State Department in 1948 docu- 


mented thirty-seven distinct post-war violations of agreements by 

the Soviet Union, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee pro- 
duced fifty-two pages of a similar indictment in August 1950. 29 
Worse than the specific violations was the fact that the Kremlin 
deliberately used its power, from the days of the Berlin air lift to 
the war in Korea, to make peace impossible, at the end of a war 
which was fought chiefly to organize the nations for permanent 
peace. Stalin, by treachery as well as by force of arms, added 
400,000 square miles to his own territory and perhaps 30,000,000 
people, not including his new, indirect dominion over great 
stretches of territory in Asia populated by nearly half a billion 
people. And, while preaching peace, he continued to maintain an 
army of 175 to 255 divisions, at least four times the size of the 
armies of the west. 

The Communist Fronts 

The Communist techniques of deception for political and cul- 
tural organizations inside democratic nations are worthy of P. T. 
Bamum at Ms best, combining expert showmanship with political 
juggling. It is part of routine Communist procedure to ap- 
propriate all the labels of conventional democratic practice and 
twist their meaning for Communist purposes. The conventional 
symbols of western thought are boldly appropriated and filled 
with a new and strange content. Communism is a "new" democ- 
racy and a "higher" freedom. This use of Aesopian language for 
the concealment of actual policy was thoroughly ventilated at 
the trial of eleven leaders of the American Communist Party 
in New York in 1949. The prosecution, in the words of Judge 
Medina's charge to the jury, contended that "Aesopian language, 
only understood by Communists thoroughly indoctrinated in the 
use of such verbiage, was used in their Constitution of 1945 
and elsewhere, and that defendants also habitually used in their 
writings and teaching a species of double talk which they used 
to convey one meaning to themselves and their followers, but 
which would be otherwise understood by the uninitiate and the 
public at large." 80 This is a very mild description of the Com- 
munist devices of semantic deception. A glossary of Communist 
terms of propaganda would indicate that, in practice, the word 
"freedom" means freedom from capitalism, and the word "democ- 


racy" means participation In the Communist movement. Any 
other kinds of freedom or democracy belong to the species known 
as "bourgeois." 

Professor Harry Schwartz, of Syracuse University, has trans- 
lated some of the choicest definitions from the latest edition of 
the Soviet's Dictionary of Foreign Words; several of these appear 
In the New York Times Magazine for February 4, 1951, together 
with Professor Schwartz's comment that the Communist double 
talk about democracy reminds him of Humpty Dumpty's state- 
ment in Through the Looking-Glass: "When I use a word it 
means just what I want it to mean, neither more nor less." The 
Soviet definitions of democracy and dogmatism are worth quot- 

Democracy: A political structure in which power belongs to the people. 
The Soviet Socialist democracy is a new higher type of democracy, with 
power actually in the hands of the people. . . . Bourgeois democracy is 
a form of class supremacy, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie over the 
proletariat and the working masses. 

Dogmatism: Uncritical thinking based on dogma. . . . Dogmatism is 
characteristic of religious beliefs, metaphysical points of view, and of all 
theoretical systems which are dying out, reactionary, and fighting against 
the developing new ideas. Marxism-Leninism is foreign to any dogmatism. 

If Americans were confronted by an appeal from a political 
party with headquarters In New York which called itself the 
Russian Imperialist State-Ownership Party (American Branch), 
they would not pay much attention to its appeals. Being con- 
fronted with a Citizens Committee for Free Milk, or a University 
Bureau for Free Speech, or a Clergymen's Alliance for Peace, 
they are sometimes betrayed by their humane and democratic sen- 
timents into supporting Communist fronts. 

Under our pure food laws a conglomerate package of meat 
which includes some ham may not be sold under the label of ham. 
It may be sold as deviled meat or luncheon meat or simply meat 
with ham flavor. In politics consumers are not so well protected. 
A Communist party controlled by a Communist central commit- 
tee in Moscow may call itself a People's Party, a Progressive 
Party, a Labor Progressive Party, a Labor Party, a Socialist Unity 
Party, or a United Workers Party. In Poland In 1945 the Com- 
munists camouflaged themselves under the title of Polish Workers 


Party, and then created an extra ersatz Peasant Party of their 
own to win votes away from the once-powerful party of the same 
name led by Stanislaw Mikolajczyk. 31 A "Committee to Under- 
mine the Military Power of the United States and Great Britain 
Pending their Conquest by the Soviet Union" could not collect 
many signatures for a petition to outlaw the atomic bomb, but a 
"Committee of Partisans for Peace" can gather millions of signa- 
tures for such a purpose, particularly if it is headed by a number 
of innocent-sounding bishops. 

This type of deception has become quite familiar to Americans 
during the great exposures of Communist activity in recent years. 
Occasionally those exposures have degenerated into rank hys- 
teria and falsehood the diatribes of Senator Joseph McCarthy 
of Wisconsin are not much more accurate than the Communist 
propaganda which he assails but in spite of the abuses of 
partisan anti-Communism, the truth about Communist propa- 
ganda fronts is now quite clear. The government's list of false 
fronts is, as far as it goes, quite indisputable. 

In most democratic countries the strategic work of Communist 
deception in the political and cultural fields is done by men who 
do not hold Communist Party cards. In fact, in countries like 
the United States the Communist Party is perhaps the least 
important instrument of Communist propaganda. Sometimes the 
Party itself in a certain country is operated by quite unimportant 
left-wing labor leaders and foreign-born Communists, while 
native-born and educated professionals promote the Cause in 
non-Communist labor unions, newspaper offices, universities, 
and political parties. Frequently the Communist representatives 
themselves demand that their ablest representatives stay outside 
the Party. Arthur Koestler tells how he felt quite crestfallen when 
he offered his soul to the Communist organization in Germany, 
and the Party functionary who was assigned to receive his tender 
of allegiance seemed not at all anxious to accept him as a full- 
fledged member. "If you insist," he said, "we will make you a 
Party member, but on condition that your membership remains 
secret." 32 The Party preferred to have a journalist of Koestler's 
rank act as an entirely "independent" foreign editor of an influen- 
tial daily newspaper where his judiciously phrased opinions might 
sway non-Communist judgment. 


Sometimes the Communist agitator in a non-Communist coun- 
try acts as a conspirator with an assumed name, even when there 
seems to be no apparent need for concealment. Often the reason 
for the maneuver is that forged passports and other false docu- 
ments are very useful in the Party's larger strategy. A few ficti- 
tious personalities come in handy in emergencies. Similarly the 
Party is extremely adept at changing the labels of false-front 
organizations quickly when the situation requires it. After a 
Communist false front has been exposed and abolished, an inno- 
cent organization almost always appears promptly in the same 
general area. Usually the new, innocent front makes use of the 
membership list of the abolished body, but no one can prove 
that the new and the old organizations have the same masters. 

Each Communist movement in each democratic country is 
instructed to follow the line of deception best adapted to that 
country. Unfortunately for the success of these tactics, the over- 
all policy for Communist expansion is frequently directed by 
men who are abysmally ignorant of the conditions of labor and 
culture outside of Russia. Their tendency is to interpret the whole 
world in terms of their narrow experience in the Soviet Union. 
I saw this Russian arrogance and provincialism assert itself too 
aggressively for success in the Chinese revolution of 1927 in 
Hankow. Later on, the Kremlin's agents learned to adapt their 
propaganda more successfully to the Asiatic mind, but anyone 
who has seen them perform in the earlier stages of Chinese 
revolutionary movements is bound to question their capacity to 
keep themselves subordinated enough to hold Chinese friendship 

The Communist plan for a "black-belt republic" in the south- 
ern states of the United States in the 1930's was revealing proof 
of stupidity at central headquarters in the Kremlin. It would have 
been hard to suggest a solution for America's racial problem less 
adapted to the American situation and less appealing to the 
American Negro people themselves. The black-belt plan, of 
course, was quickly abandoned when it proved to be a propaganda 

Always the strategic line of deception in any country changes 
with the needs of the Soviet Union, but always that subordination 
to Soviet policy is concealed as much as possible in order to make 


Communist propaganda acceptable to local opinion. Frequently 
the movement makes skillful use of the names of national a^d 
local heroes. The American Communist Party sagaciously de- 
clares its undying faith in the tactics of democracy at the very 
moment when its overlords are denying the validity of those 
tactics throughout the world. Jefferson and Lincoln, if Com- 
munist platforms are to be taken seriously, were simply forebears 
and precursors of Stalin. 

Here are a few excerpts from the 1 948 campaign platform of 
the Communist Party of the United States, published at a time 
when Russia was rapidly destroying the right of opposition par- 
ties to exist in nearly all of eastern Europe: 

The destruction of the rights of tne Communists is the classical first 
step down the road to fascism. The tragedy of Germany and Italy prove 
this. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all Americans who hate fascism 
to defend the rights of the Communists, and to help explode the myth that 
Communists are foreign agents or advocate force and violence. 

We are no more foreign agents than was Jefferson who was also accused 
of being a foreign agent by the Tories of his day. We follow in the best 
tradition of the spokesmen of labor, science and culture whose contribu- 
tions to human progress knew no national boundaries. "The strongest 
bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one 
uniting all working people of all nations and tongues and kindred." 

It is not the Communists who advocate or practice force and violence, 
but the monopolists, the KKK, the lynch mobs and the fascist hoodlum 
gangs. . . . We condemn and reject the policy and practice of terror and 
assassination and repudiate the advocates of force and violence. We Com- 
munists seek only the opportunity to compete fairly in the marketplace 
of ideas, asking only that our program and proposals be considered on 
their merit. . . . We have supported every democratic movement since 
the Communists of Lincoln's generation fought in the Union cause during 
the Civil War. 33 

Probably no American historians have ever been able to iden- 
tify the "Communists of Lincoln's generation" who fought in the 
Civil War, but such deficiencies rarely cause anxiety among Com- 
munist platform writers. They approach history with creative 
confidence. They can change the Party's line concerning co- 
operation with democracy overnight without any confession of 
inconsistency. A new semantic mask can be put on or taken off 
at will. 

The current semantic mask of Soviet imperialism is "peace" 


and opposition to the atomic bomb in the name of humanity. 
Peace congresses and people's peace fronts have blossomed 
throughout the world, calling upon humanity to abjure violence: 
the helpless and peace-loving peoples of the world are being 
driven to war by "Wall Street"; true believers in a people's peace 
should support the World Congress of Partisans for Peace, and, 
along with perhaps half a billion others, sign the Stockholm peace 
appeal to outlaw the atomic bomb. 34 But when a practical plan 
for controlling atomic energy for peace was offered to the Soviet 
Union in the United Nations, there were no Communist takers. 
And every peace congress under pro-Communist auspices in 
recent years has been quite openly a war congress for Soviet 
interests, cheering wildly for Communist aggression. At the 
"World Congress for Peace" in Paris early in 1949, when the 
pro-Communist delegates were calling for the victory of the 
Chinese Communists in war, one British delegate had the courage 
to challenge the demonstration by asking: "Do you want peace 
now?" The honest and spontaneous answer came back with a 
roar: "No." 35 

Usually the Communist answer to such a question is neither 
honest nor spontaneous nor brief. When William Z. Foster, 
chairman of the American Communist Party, was asked by Sena- 
tor Homer Ferguson before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 
1948, "If the Soviet Union attacks the United States, would you 
fight against the Soviet Union?" it took him 163 words to say 
"No" as follows: 

This line of questioning and the campaign of hysteria surrounding the 
Mundt Bill is an attempt to use the big lie technique of Hitler. It is an 
effort to conceal the fact that the United States government, under its 
present leadership, has embarked on a campaign to dominate the world, 
the most ruthless campaign of imperialist expansion in history. 

But I will gladly answer that question. If there is a war, the fault will 
lie not with the Soviet Union but with the Wall Street monopolists. The 
Soviet Union could never attack the United States or any other country, 
because it is a Socialist state. I could not conceive of such a possibility. 

If despite the efforts of the Soviet government and peace-loving people 
everywhere to prevent it, war did come, it would be an imperialist war 
and we Communists would oppose it. We would work to bring it to an 
end as quickly as possible on the basis of a democratic peace. 36 

Professor Sidney Hook has described how the Party's shifting 


line in the United States can be roughly appraised according to 
its shifting attitudes toward Franklin Roosevelt. 37 Before 1936, 
Roosevelt was called a fascist because it was then the general 
policy of Moscow to refer to all leaders of non-Communist gov- 
ernments as fascist. Then Moscow swerved from this too, too 
solid line of condemnation and tried a popular-front policy for a 
few years, even permitting Earl Browder, its American leader, 
to write a suave book on the reform of capitalism, treating Roose- 
velt as a well-meaning progressive. Then came the sudden and 
bewildering switch to the Stalin-Hitler alliance, and from 1939 
to 1941 Roosevelt became an imperialist and warmonger. Then, 
with Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union and Stalin's need for 
American arms, Roosevelt became a savior of the world's prole- 
tariat, and even Winston Churchill was transfigured in some 
Soviet literature into a genial reactionary with a large and rather 
amiable cigar. 

In fact, the shifting Soviet attitude toward Churchill paralleled 
that toward Roosevelt. Before 1939 he was not so bad, because 
he fought Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. In the May 
Day parade in Chicago in 1941, during the period of the Hitler- 
Stalin pact, he was bannered as "an imperialist pig." Two months 
later he was a shrewd realist because he had come to the aid of 
Stalin against the German invasion. After his Fulton, Missouri, 
speech, he reassumed the pig role. 

Today, of course, with the United States engaged in a cold-hot 
war with the Kremlin, Roosevelt's successor in the White House 
is called a warmonger, while the Communist movement, now 
stripped of all disguises, is serving openly and audaciously 
throughout the world as a Russian military conspiracy. All the 
standard elements of military deception are used in the conspir- 
acy. Spying, sabotage, the promotion of defeatist sentiment, and 
the creation of general turmoil have become accepted Kremlin 
weapons in western countries. If and when "peace" should be 
worked out temporarily, new camouflages would replace the pres- 
ent openly conspiratorial tactics. When the eleven top leaders of 
the American Communist movement were sentenced to prison in 
1950, the American Communist Party blandly announced a slight 
alteration in some of its textbooks for agitators, eliminating 
from those books the phrases advocating the overthrow of gov- 


ernment by force and violence winch had led to the conviction 
of the Party's leaders. 38 The maneuver deceived nobody; the 
Party line remains unchanged. In announcing the alteration of 
Communist textbooks the Party said that, of course, the courts 
could never "stop individuals from reading and studying any 
and all books, including the classics of Marxism-Leninism." 

The Manipulation of Dogma 

Behind all of these Communist techniques of deception lies a 
phenomenon which is more important than the Big Lie. For lack 
of a better definition it may be called the manipulation of dogma. 

According to Communist philosophy the incidental beliefs 
by which men live are subject to alteration and adjustment to suit 
a revolutionary purpose. If faith in the revolution remains firm, 
everything else may be adjusted to that purpose. A review of 
Kremlin activity since the October revolution in 1917 would re- 
veal that no single moral value, no sacred socialist doctrine, 
has remained exempt from the process of exploitation in behalf 
of the power system. In Kremlin philosophy ideas and doctrines 
are something to be used, and frequently they are used merci- 
lessly. History, philosophy, and science must serve the Faith; 
and if the advancement of the Faith requires the alteration of 
history or the redirection of science and philosophy, so much 
the worse for history, science, and philosophy. 

In practice, any doctrine of Communism may be added to or 
subtracted from the approved Marxian code on orders from the 
Kremlin, and when such a change takes place it is so carefully 
manipulated that the masses of the people are frequently not 
aware that a doctrinal shift has taken place. They go on repeating 
the same creed with the same intonation, believing that all Krem- 
lin policies are solidly based on Marxian scriptures. 

In the first days of the Bolshevik revolution, Russian socialism 
was quite equalitarian. Then, when the near-equality of incomes 
proved impractical and it became necessary to compromise with 
tradition by creating substantial differentials in wages, Stalin 
suddenly announced that "socialism is inequality." 39 After that 
the old doctrine of equality in wages became "counter-revolu- 
tion." Good socialists vied with each other in denouncing it. By 
1949 the statutes of the Russian trade unions referred to "The 


Socialist Principles of Pay According to the Amount and Quality 
of Labor." 40 TMs was the new verbal dress for the familiar prin- 
ciple of payment by results developed in the American factory 
system. The principle was socialist by adoption, and the paternity 
was concealed. 

When the Bolsheviks wanted to justify the continuing dictator- 
ship of a single political party, they did not admit that they were 
twisting or perverting socialism. They simply loaded down one 
phrase of Karl Marx, the "dictatorship of the proletariat," with 
the whole weight of their lop-sided policy and made that phrase 
bear the burden of a permanent authoritarian system of power. 
Incidentally, there is an exact parallel here to the technique of 
the Vatican in placing the entire load of Catholic imperialism 
upon the single scriptural statement attributed to Jesus: "Thou art 
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." Actually, Karl 
Marx used the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" only once 
in Ms whole writings and only by over-emphasis and distortion 
can anyone find in his works a detailed justification for continuing 
dictatorship. In Communist propaganda, however, a continuing 
dictatorship in Moscow is hailed as "applied Marxism." 

The Communist philosophy of family life has undergone a 
similar transformation. In the early days of the revolution, when 
the Communists considered it advantageous to release men from 
"bourgeois" loyalties and traditions, they encouraged extra-mari- 
tal relations and poured contempt on the institution of the 
bourgeois family. The new Russians were permitted to secure 
divorces unilaterally by postcard, and abortions were made as 
easily available as the removal of tonsils. When the maintenance 
of family life and the increase of the Russian population became 
important to Kremlin power, the Kremlin reversed its field and 
launched a campaign against promiscuity and all modern de- 
partures from sexual convention. 41 

Divorces, which jumped to 38.3 per 100 marriages in 1935, 
have now become difficult and expensive, sometimes costing as 
much as 2,000 rubles. The Kremlin has become more and more 
hostile to birth control. Only therapeutic abortions are permis- 
sible, and they must be surrounded with careful safeguards. 
Soviet writers have recently attacked the "disorderly succession 
of husbands and wives" and have declared that "every parent 


must work toward training the future citizen to be happy only in 
family love and to seek the joys of sex life only in marriage." 42 

Most readers will agree with this teaching,, but they are bound 
to feel some astonishment that the regime which preaches this 
gospel is the same Soviet regime which stressed contrary values 
early in the 1920's. Those very values which the Communists 
extolled in the twenties are now being derided as an integral part 
of "bourgeois marriage," without any admission that they were 
once hailed as modern and revolutionary. The new Russian 
Puritanism has even turned its guns on the nation which once 
hysterically accused the Bolsheviks of nationalizing Russian 
women. "Why are the most unbridled sexual perversions so 
shamelessly relished in [the United States]?" asks Z. Guseva, in 
the Soviet literary magazine, Oktyabr. "The amorality with 
which the entire capitalist world is imbued is expressed with par- 
ticular intensity in attitudes toward women. . . . Depravity and 
prostitution go hand in hand with bourgeois marriage. ... In 
contrast . . . proletarian morality reflects the new relationships 
taking shape in the workers' environment. . . . The question 
is not one of the disappearance of the family under socialism, as 
bourgeois-anarchist 'theoreticians' prophesied, but of its further 
strengthening and perfection, in none other than its monogamous 
form." 43 

In all these deviations and reversals in policy and doctrine, 
the Communist parties of the world virtually always place Rus- 
sian interests ahead of consistency. That is the only reasonable 
explanation of the present, amazing indifference of the Kremlin 
to birth control as a vital social remedy for overpopulation. The 
Kremlin has virtually instructed the Communist movements 
throughout the world in recent years to slight birth control as a 
superficial and even undesirable remedy and to concentrate on 
economic and political reform as "fundamental." The reasoning 
behind this new Russian policy is quite transparent: Russia needs 
manpower for war against the west, and Russia has room to 
expand; therefore the Soviet Union should breed as many 
potential soldiers as possible. In 1933 Stalin boasted of an 
annual increase of three million in the population of the Soviet 
Union, as if that were an evidence of superiority over capitalist 
nations which reported a smaller proportionate increase. Pravda 


in commenting on the 1939 census said that "the might and 
power of Socialism finds clear expression in the unprecedented 
rapid tempo of population increase." 44 

At the same time, the Kremlin wants social revolutions in all 
the western nations, and overpopulation is one of the most effec- 
tive means of producing a social revolution in a country which 
does not have room to expand. In many of the democratic 
European countries the misery produced by a too-rapid increase 
in population is Communism's chief ally. In countries like Italy 
it is doing far more than squadrons of Communist organizers 
to force the nation toward economic collapse. 

Yet the Communists in Italy, following the Kremlin line, are 
obviously happy about this population pressure, and are en- 
couraging it. At a time when the educated classes of Italy are 
desperately anxious to combat the Vatican's propaganda against 
birth control, the Moscow-controlled leadership of the Com- 
munist and left-wing Socialist parties tacitly sides with the Vatican 
by refusing to oppose the fascist laws which make contraception 
a crime. 

By 1949 the Soviet philosophy of family life was almost in- 
distinguishable in some of its aspects from that of the Catholic 
Church. It had different objectives, of course, but its central aim 
was to produce more Communists, as the central aim of Catholic 
policy on this subject is to produce more Catholics. In the Soviet 
Union in 1950, Communists were awarding the title "Mother- 
Heroine" to any Soviet woman who would bring up ten children. 
Mothers of seven to nine children were receiving a somewhat 
lesser distinction, the Medal of Maternal Glory, and mothers of 
five and six children the Motherhood Medal. All of these medals 
were accompanied with money payments. 45 It was reported in 
1947 that the Soviet government had spent 14 billion rubles in 
eleven years in encouraging Russian mothers to have large 
families. 46 Special taxes were being levied on bachelors and 
spinsters, and upon parents who had only two children. Even 
group sex education in Soviet schools was encountering serious 
obstacles, not entirely unlike the obstacles to scientific sex educa- 
tion in American public schools created by priestly propaganda. 

In fact, a number of Catholic writers have hailed recent Soviet 
sexual philosophy as a vindication of the fundamental correctness 


of the Catholic position on family values. "Bitter experience/ 7 
boasted the Catholic magazine America in 1949, "has taught 
the Soviet rulers what Americans have yet to learn: stable family 
life is essential to the continued well-being of a nation." 47 "Com- 
munism," declared Monsignor Fulton Sheen on an American 
radio hookup, "in its greatest defeat proclaims the victory of the 
family over the class, the person over the proletariat, the fireside 
and the child over the hammer and the sickle." 48 

Adjusted History 

If a moral philosophy of life and a whole scheme of economic 
values can be shifted in this manner to the right or to the left, 
how much more easily can history be rewritten! Historical truths, 
like sexual values, can be redirected and redefined according to 
Kremlin directives. Trotsky, second only to Lenin in the Bolshe- 
vik revolution, was wiped out of Russian history books, and his 
role in the revolution almost completely erased from the Russian 
mind, by deliberate falsification. Trotsky had committed the 
unforgivable sin of challenging Stalin and it was not enough 
to exile him and then murder him. The very historical fact of 
Leon Trotsky's life and work must be manipulated out of Russian 
memory. The mention of his name is not permissible in the 
Soviet Union except in terms of denunciation. I remember the 
horror upon the faces of some Russian friends of mine when we 
were viewing a demonstration in the Red Square of Moscow 
and I asked sardonically: "Where is Trotsky?" 

The task of destroying Trotsky as a fact of Russian history has 
been performed, and today he has become a half -forgotten traitor 
in the minds of the Soviet people whose fathers honored him as 
the peer of Lenin. Stalin not only helped to destroy his life 
and his reputation, but, having once disposed of a leading rival, 
he calmly appropriated nearly all of his major ideas and claimed 
them as his own. Communist history also had to be rewritten 
extensively after the great purge of 1936-37 when the "old 
Bolsheviks" were kDled off in a savage wave of reprisals. Once 
these men had been heroes and builders of the nation who ranked 
with Stalin in responsibility and far exceeded him in popularity. 
Stalin revised their reputation after 1936 by revising the standard 
Short History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 


Then he withdrew from, circulation the old books that glorified 
the old heroes. "The new book of Communist history/' says 
Isaac Deutscher in Ms biography of Stalin, "which was at once 
declared to be the Bible of the party, was written by Stalin's 
secretaries under his personal guidance." 49 

The past history of Russia and European civilization has also 
been rewritten in a Stalinist mold in order to group all events 
into a progressive Marxian sequence, culminating in "planned 
economy and triumphant socialist construction in the USSR." 
The famous Russian historian, Eugene Tarle, had pointed out in 
his Bonaparte that the peasants of Russia "took no part" in a 
national war against Napoleon's invasion of the country in 1812 
but left the unpleasant job to the army, and that there was "not a 
single national mass revolt against the French." This was an 
outrageous admission for a historian to make in a Communist 
country, so Professor Tarle was publicly reprimanded, and 
promptly produced a new version of the Napoleonic invasion of 
Russia which was acceptable to Stalin. According to the revised 
history, Bonaparte encountered among the peasants an "insatiable 
hatred toward the usurpers, marauders and oppressors." "Ac- 
cording to the unanimous opinion of the French," said the re- 
pentant Professor Tarle, "absolutely nowhere except in Spain 
did the peasants in the villages show such desperate resistance as 
in Russia. . . . The entire war against the invading Napoleon 
was solidly a national war. ... It was the people's arm that 
inflicted upon the greatest commander in the world's history the 
irreparable, fatal blow." 50 

Sometimes the Kremlin's shifts of policies and principle in a 
country are so abrupt and inexplicable that the sudden change 
exposes the movement to humiliation and ridicule. In 1946 
and 1947, when Communists were co-operating with other politi- 
cal parties in Italy and hoping to work out a coalition which 
would dominate the government, the Party leaders suddenly 
united with their arch-enemies, the Catholic Christian Demo- 
crats, to incorporate into the new Italian constitution the Lateran 
agreements of 1929 between Mussolini and the Vatican. By this 
maneuver the Communists infuriated the Socialists and horrified 
the independent liberals. They executed this surrender of their 
principles in behalf of expediency on the theory that they might 


make inroads into the Catholic masses. Although Palmiro Tog- 
liatti made a forceful speech in the Constituent Assembly in 
Rome against the principles of the concordat, he abandoned 
his principles for expediency and justified his action on the 
ground that Communists believed in religious freedom, the sepa- 
ration of church and state, and the elimination of unnecessary 
controversy at such a moment. 

It would be difficult to discover a clearer misrepresentation. 
The Kremlin has never stood for religious freedom as democrats 
understand that concept, or for the separation of church and 
state in reality. In the Soviet Union today, the Russian Orthodox 
Church is virtually an arm of the state, controlled by a joint 
council of Communist ministers and bishops. The very Lateran 
agreement, which Togliatti helped to impose upon the Italian 
people by his compromise with the Christian Democrats, denies 
the separation of church and state to Italy and perpetuates re- 
ligious discrimination in favor of the Vatican. Togliatti, well 
trained in Moscow, felt no obligation to be either truthful or 
consistent when it suited his purpose to swing the whole Italian 
Communist movement to the right at the expense of a free culture. 

Usually Communist strategy is not so transparently stupid. 
Frequently its adjustments and compromises have been more 
tactful. But the fact that such shifts in the most fundamental 
doctrines of the Faith can be made entirely from above, without 
even an admission by the Kremlin hierarchy that its creed has 
been altered, shows how subordinate truth has become in this 
particular totalitarian system of power. In the Soviet system 
today truth is habitually treated as a handmaiden of political 
strategy. All history, all science, and all learning are managed 
in such a way that they echo the Voice in the Kremlin. The 
truth has not been formally abandoned, but all truth and all 
moral values have become part of the Soviet apparatus of power. 

The Management of Truth: the Vatican 

SINCE PERSONAL INTEGRITY is a cornerstone of Catholic morals, 
the Catholic attitude toward truth is a far cry from Communist 
cynicism. Throughout the ages the Church has promoted honesty 
or has it? The question deserves more than a casually affirma- 
tive answer. Certainly the Church has promoted and advanced 
personal honesty. Its priests and people do not intentionally 
deceive, and they are in good faith loy^al to the highest standard 
of human integrity. But the social strategy of a militant and 
partisan institution sometimes has a mbral, or immoral, charac- 
ter entirely apart from the consciences of its individual members. 
Institutional power molds men and corrupts their character. 
When Britain's great Catholic historian, Lord Acton, voiced his 
famous aphorism, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power 
corrupts absolutely," he was directing his shafts at least in part 
against the leaders of his own Church. 

As an institution in this world the Vatican has learned to 
manipulate and manage truth in strange ways in furthering its 
world-wide program. It has learned to shade history, exploit 
human ignorance, and disguise its undemocratic policies, all for 
the greater glory of truth as it is conceived by a hierarchy which 
accepts its chieftain as a fountain of truth. 

This last strategy, the disguise of undemocratic policy, is so 
important in the Catholic system of power that I shall discuss it 
in some detail. It has been used in the United States, especially, 
in connection with the church-state issue. Two leading figures 

of American Catholicism have been particularly involved the 

late governor Alfred E. Smith, and the American hierarchy's 
leading personage at the present time, Cardinal Spellinan. 

I have pointed out in Chapter 3,-\"The Vatican Structure of 



Power," that the Vatican by its own definition is a monarchy, 
that it developed in a pre-democratic era, and that one of the 
cornerstones of its system of power has been partial union of 
the Church with sympathetic governments. No pope has ever 
repudiated this traditional policy of Church establishment, and 
many popes have repudiated in the most specific language the 
doctrine of the separation of church and state. Pius IX in his 
Syllabus of Errors in 1864 branded as one of "the principal errors 
of our time" the statement that "The Church ought to be sepa- 
rated from the State, and the State from the Church." Leo XHI 
in 1888 called the separation of church and state a "fatal prin- 
ciple." 1 No true Catholic can agree with the doctrine of church- 
state separation in its American constitutional form and remain 
loyal to Vatican policy, because the two are absolutely incom- 
patible. The Vatican docto * includes the claim that the state 
owes the Church at least JSl monetary support in carrying out 
its mission. The Americ* ^institutional doctrine, as interpreted 
by the Supreme Court, ^ ades any such claim. 

There are two ways if d %ich this direct contradiction between 
Vatican and American ^Slicy on church and state can be con- 
cealed. One way is to define the Catholic doctrine in terms that 
have double meanings. The other is to "interpret" the Constitu- 
tion so that it will say something which it does not say. The 
American hierarchy is using both of these devices of deception 
at the present time, and in addition it is attempting to minimize 
the fundamental clash between the theory of Vatican moral im- 
perialism and the theory of national sovereignty. 

^The American hierarchy is finding it very difficult to square 
the world-wide record of the Vatican with American tradition. 
In every Catholic nation and sector in the world today, the Vati- 
can is receiving or seeking public funds for its enterprises- 
Spain, Italy, Portugal, Quebec, Argentina, Belgium, Ireland, etc. 
Even in many non-Catholic nations and sectors, the Vatican is 
asking and receiving similar favors the Netherlands, Great 
Britain, West Germany, Switzerland, and Ontario. It is the 
settled and official policy of Rome to work in every nation for a 
privileged imperial position, if" possible guaranteed by a formal 
concordat. We have already seen that the privileges demanded 
as a matter of right by the Vatican include the exemption of 


priests and nuns from prosecution in government criminal courts; 
the receipt of public funds for schools, hospitals, and other wel- 
fare enterprises; and the complete clerical control of the marriage, 
separation, and divorce of all Catholics. These special privileges 
are characteristic and permanent features of the world policy 
of the Vatican as a moral empire operating in all nations by divine 

The frank description of these facts about the Vatican's church- 
state policy would be very unfortunate from the hierarchy's point 
of view, especially in countries like the United States. The 
American people have accepted the doctrine of the separation" of 
church and state as one of their most distinctive and praiseworthy 
contributions to social progress, and they would deal quite briskly 
with any church which challenged fiat doctrine by a frontal at- 
tack. They would not relish the t bought that any American 
citizens should continue to be sut^ tsjprf a foreign empire, even 
in respect to a very limited area of "* l^act. Hence the Catholic 
hierarchy in the United States has fe$ s *Higated to adopt various 
semantic disguises for the Vatican's fr' m ^h-state policy. 

One of its most transparent device^ i 1 of % use the word "accept" 
with a double meaning, and to annou^e that it "accepts" the 
American Constitution and the separaf.-jn of church and state. 
As we shall see later, the American Catholic bishops do not, by 
this "acceptance," express any fundamental agreement with the 
doctrine as expounded by the Supreme Court, or pledge them- 
selves not to fight against it. They merely accept it as a temporary 
condition, in the sense of admitting that they are subject to 
American law and have no intention of willfully violating the 
law, but never for a moment abandoning the Catholic ideal of a 
union of church and state. 

Catholic clerical leaders justify their apparent equivocation on 
such matters by the so-called theory of thesis and hypothesis. The 
thesis is the truth or principle which the Church stands for eter- 
nally; the hypothesis is the truth or principle modified by circum- 
stances. Professor George La Piana has described the distinction 
in these words: 

The thesis is the doctrine of the Church which, having its fountain 
head in the divine revelation, is eternal, unchangeable, and not affected 
by human events or circumstances of times and places. The hypothesis, 


on the contrary, is the sum total of the circumstances of times and places 
which make nigh impossible, or extremely difficult or even dangerous, 
any effort to apply the thesis. In such cases, the Church in making 
agreements with the state does not insist on the application of the thesis and 
limits its claims according to the hypothesis. 2 

This theory makes it clear why Catholic bishops in the United 
States can declare, as they have done repeatedly, that they believe 
in the separation of church and state "without equivocation." 
Most people would infer from, such an utterance that the hierarchy 
thereby commits itself without reservation to the American doc- 
trine of the separation of church and state. Not so. The bishops 
accept the doctrine as a temporary hypothesis, a statement of 
principle which comes as near as practicable to the Catholic 
principle for the time being; but they do not thereby abandon 
the thesis. 

An excellent illustration of what American Catholic bishops 
really mean when they "endorse" the separation of church and 
state appeared in the Catholic press in the United States in 1948 
in a series of syndicated articles on Portugal from the National 
Catholic Welfare Conference News Service. They were written 
by a Catholic writer, Eugene Bagger. This news service is, of 
course, directly controlled by the Catholic bishops of the United 
States who are the National Catholic Welfare Conference. This 
series of articles, almost wholly favorable to the semi-fascist dic- 
tatorship of Salazar, said flatly in describing conditions in Portu- 
gal: "Separation of Church and State is maintained." In the 
same article the author said: "Instruction in morals, to be given 
in State schools to all pupils whose parents do not claim exemp- 
tion, and in all orphanages, includes elements of Catholic doc- 
trine and apologetics as well as Gospel and Church history." 
The children in Portuguese public schools, of course, do not 
receive instruction in any non-Catholic religion. And the author 
added, in describing the terms of the Vatican-Portuguese agree- 
ments of May 7, 1940: 

The Government subsidizes all [Catholic] missionary bodies in the 
Portuguese colonies; provides building sites for [Catholic] churches, 
schools, etc.; pays the salaries of Bishops and vicars and prefects apos- 
tolic, the expense of missionaries traveling from Portugal to the colonies 
and back, and missionary pensions. 3 

Such a description makes it clear what the American Catholic 


bishops really mean when they say that they favor the separation 
of church and state. They are using Catholic-Portuguese terms 
in speaking to an American audience which uses words in a 
different sense. They are willing to describe any relationship 
of church and state short of complete identification as "separa- 
tion," and permit American non-Catholics to think that they 
sincerely accept separation in the American sense. 

Glossary of Double Talk 

The three words which are most commonly used with double 
meanings by defenders of Vatican policy are "freedom," "democ- 
racy," and "conscience." We have already seen that the Church 
teaches the limitation of intellectual freedom by denying Catho- 
lics the right to read any books or magazines which directly refute 
Catholic dogma or discipline. Thus the Church denies the basic 
ingredient of freedom of thought, which is the right to receive 
unrestricted information. Because this denial is in fundamental 
conflict with the American conception of freedom, the defenders 
of Catholic power consider it necessary to create a definition of 
freedom which will include the Vatican variety. In practice, as 
Dr. Paul Hutchinson of the Christian Century has pointed out, 
the Catholic leader who talks about freedom usually means the 
freedom of the Church, whereas the Protestant leader means the 
freedom of the individual. 

The Catholic hierarchy recognizes the importance of indi- 
vidual freedom to accept Catholic teaching, and it has created a 
definition of individual freedom to conform to that notion. John 
Redden and Francis A. Ryan in their standard Catholic work, 
Freedom Through Education, say that: "Freedom implies the 
capacity to choose morally. To make this choice the individual 
must be able to discern between what is right and what is wrong. 
. , . If he chooses evil, his conduct is sinful and deserves con- 
demnation. If he chooses good, his conduct is virtuous and 
merits reward. Freedom means, then, the ability to do what one 
ought to do: that is, to do what is right, just, lawful, and to 
avoid what is evil. In other words, freedom means man's power 
within himself to act in conformity to his rational nature." The 
authors go on to explain that "in order to know what one ought to 
do, it is necessary first of all, to know what is true. . . . There 


are truths in the moral order, as well as in the scientific world, 
which must be accepted on authority. . . . Authority, then, at 
times, must necessarily substitute temporarily for freedom in 
those matters wherein proper temporal and spiritual good makes 
reasonably evident the necessity for substitution." 4 

Thus, by a full circle in reasoning, the right to choose a course 
of action has become the duty to accept Catholic authority, and 
freedom has become obedience. Catholic apologetic literature 
is full of such sleight-of-hand transitions. Father John A. 
O'Brien, on page 133 of his The Faith of Millions, says: "There 
is a legitimate freedom and an illegitimate one. The first is the 
freedom of believing the truth. The second is the freedom of 
believing error, which is in reality an abuse of the mind and 
constitutes a form of intellectual anarchy. No one has a right 
to believe error anymore than one has the right to do wrong." 
And the definition of moral error, of course, rests with the 

A similar limitation is noticeable in the Catholic definition of 
conscience. The conscience, in Catholic terminology, is not a 
free organ or agent; it is an organ of ratification or agreement. 
"What is conscience?" asks Father John C. Heenan in his 
Priest and Penitent. "It is not a separate faculty of the soul. It 
is a practical judgment of the mind by which we are able to 
decide regarding the morality of behaviour." So far so good. 
But then Father Heenan goes on: "It is the application of the 
law of God to a particular action. It follows that when two 
people judge differently of the morality of a course of action, 
both cannot have a true conscience, unless, which would be ab- 
surd, all morality is subjective. A right conscience is one which 
dictates behaviour in conformity with the law of God. A false 
conscience allows behaviour which is contrary to the law." 5 It 
follows that the conscience which denies Catholic dogma has no 
rights because it is in error. 

Thus the word "conscience," which the non-Catholic uses to 
describe an organ or faculty of individual judgment, becomes in 
Catholic semantics the collective conscience of the Catholic 
clergy, which is dictated by the Pope, Cardinal Gibbons, in 
addressing Protestants, said: "Yes, we obey the Pope, for our 
conscience tells us that we ought to obey the prriritual authority 


of the Pope in everything except what is sinful . . . while you 
believe in private judgment, we believe in a religion of authority 
which our conscience tells us is our lawful guide and teacher 
in its own sphere." 6 In this sense the individual Catholic con- 
science is simply the echo of the conscience of the priests. 

The Catholic attitude toward democracy is somewhat more 
frank. The Vatican has always scorned democracy for itself, 
but it permits its priests in democratic countries a belief in limited 
democracy so long as it does not apply to or limit the power of 
the Vatican. This means in practice that a democracy or a dic- 
tatorship is good according to its attitude toward the Vatican. 
No American Catholic leader has ever summed up the Vatican 
attitude more accurately than the famous stormy petrel of New 
England, Orestes Brownson, who became a convert to Catholi- 
cism. In his Quarterly in 1845 he said: "Democracy is a mis- 
chievous dream wherever the Catholic Church does not predomi- 
nate to inspire the people with reverence and to accustom them 
to obedience to authority." 7 Brownson is still regarded by many 
Catholic leaders as "the greatest all around thinker America has 
ever produced." These words of description are taken from the 
Liguorian, the magazine of the Redemptorist order which is now 
attempting to proselyte for the Faith in Brownson's home state of 
Vermont; and a writer in that journal adds: "Like a blacksmith, 
pounding out his arguments with bold and sinewy strength, this 
rough giant has left a treasury of perfectly wrought phrases to 
meet the political problems that must again and again confront 
the Church." 8 

"Always and everywhere," says George N. Shuster, "the essen- 
tial indifferentism of the Church to forms of government or cul- 
ture has abided as a principle, even though it may occasionally 
have been lost sight of in practice." 9 This doctrine of indif- 
ferentism means in practice that dictatorship in Spain and 
democracy in the Netherlands are both heartily praised by 
Catholic authorities because the Vatican is well treated by both, 
and that dictatorship in Poland and democracy in Sweden are 
both denounced for the contrary reason. The Vatican permits 
its American bishops to praise democracy heartily for the United 
States, but s^ ^ously praises Franco for exactly the opposite 
qualities. >.; 


The Brooklyn Tablet, leading American diocesan paper, 
printed in its official question-and-answer column, under the 
name of Father Raymond J. Neufeld, on May 28, 1949, the 
following revealing question and answer: 

QUESTION. Is a dictatorship morally wrong in the eyes of the Church? 
ANSWER. A dictatorship is a form of government in which one person is 
appointed to rule with absolute authority. Such a form of government 
can be morally good or evil, depending on the justice or injustice of 
its rule. First of all, the dictator must have a right to his position. If 
he came by his power unjustly, then his dictatorship is morally wrong. 
Secondly, the government under a dictator must acknowledge God as 
the supreme author of all law. No man has authority except it come 
from God. Thirdly, the inalienable rights of all the subjects of the govern- 
ment must be respected and preserved. 

Dictatorship as it operates in Russia, as it operated in Germany under 
Hitler and in Italy under Mussolini is morally wrong. These three isms 
are based on the Karl Marx theory of government in which the State is 
supreme, going so far as to deny the existence of God. The rights of the 
citizenry are completely denied, since in Russia the individual is the 
property of the state. 

The dictatorship in Spain, on the other hand, is morally good, public 
opinion to the contrary notwithstanding. The Franco government was 
established in a defense against the Russian influence in Spain. Though 
Franco is a dictator, he acknowledges the existence and the supremacy 
of God and he respects the God-given rights of the people. 

Al Smith as Spokesman 

In 1928 the under-cover conflict between the Catholic and the 
American conceptions of church and state power suddenly came 
into the open when one of the ablest products of machine politics 
and American Catholicism, Governor Alfred E. Smith, was nomi- 
nated for the presidency by the Democratic Party. What hap- 
pened then is history, and I do not propose to repeat it here. In 
1928 I was personally very critical of the tactics used in defeating 
Al Smith and I deeply regretted that defeat. From the point of 
view of this narrative, the significant feature of the campaign 
was the patent dishonesty of the Catholic hierarchy in remaining 
silent while a Catholic candidate made public a personal interpre- 
tation of Catholic policy on church and state which did not 
accurately reflect the Vatican's position. 

Al Smith was confronted by a series of r M ng questions 
from a distinguished New York lawyer. / ; Marshall, 


published in the Atlantic Monthly. He replied with a series of 
statements of Ms belief, statements that were in part directly con- 
trary to Catholic doctrine and policy. He declared that public 
education was the function of the state. He said: 

I recognize no power in the institutions of my Church to interfere 
with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforce- 
ment of the law of the land. I believe in absolute freedom of conscience 
for all men and in equality of all churches, all sects, and all beliefs before 
the law as a matter of right and not as a matter of favor. I believe in 
the absolute separation of Church and State and in the strict enforcement 
of the provisions of the Constitution that Congress shall make no law 
respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise 
thereof. I believe that no tribunal of any church has any power to make 
any decree of any force in the law of the land, other than to establish 
the status of its own communicants within its own church. I believe in 
the support of the public school as one of the cornerstones of American 
liberty. I believe in the right of every parent to choose whether his child 
shall be educated in the public school or in a religious school supported 
by thos3 of his own faith. 10 

Probably Al Smith was perfectly sincere in making this state- 
ment. It is more than likely that he had never taken the time 
to study the policies of his own Church outside of the United 
States, and he undoubtedly took at face value the adroit words 
used by the hierarchy in presenting Vatican policies in American 
dress. Perhaps he had never even heard of Pius IX's Syllabus 
of Errors in which the doughty champion of blunt speaking had 
claimed superior rights over every temporal government by de- 
nouncing as error the statement: "In the case of conflicting laws 
enacted by the two powers [church and state], the civil law 
prevails." Such ignorance of Vatican doctrine and policy on 
the part of American Catholics is not uncommon, and it fre- 
quently astonishes non-Catholic observers. In Smith's case, his 
statement is alleged (probably correctly) to have been written 
by the famous chaplain, Father Duffy, whose monument now 
stands at the northern end of Times Square in New York. Father 
Duffy was such an advanced theological liberal that he was an 
active friend of the noted (and excommunicated) Catholic pro- 
fessor of the University of Rome, Ernesto Buonaiuti. Because of 
that liberalism he was never given due recognition by the Ameri- 
can hierarchy after his return from World War I, and he quietly 
took revenge on his reactionary superiors by helping to promul- 


gate a statement of the Catholic outlook that must have horrified 
the theologians of the Holy Office. 

After the campaign of 1928 it soon became apparent how 
overgenerous Al Smith and Father Duffy had been in interpreting 
the doctrines of the Vatican, and also how mistaken those Ameri- 
can Catholics had been who had accepted the Smith interpretation 
of papal policies as official. On February 11, 1929, the Vatican 
agreement with Mussolini was made public. It represented Vati- 
can policy in the Church's home country at the most exalted level. 
The Church had been negotiating it at the very moment when 
the American hierarchy permitted Al Smith's interpretations of 
Catholic policy to go unchallenged. Then, within two years after 
the Vatican agreement with Mussolini, Pius XI underscored the 
Church's claims of power in the modern state by issuing two 
important encyclicals on Christian Marriage and on Christian 
Education of Youth. The three documents taken together, the 
two encyclicals and the consolidated Vatican-Mussolini agree- 
ments of 1929, can be put side by side with Al Smith's interpreta- 
tion of Catholic doctrine with devastating effect. (The major 
portions of the 1929 concordat are printed in the Appendix.) 

Al Smith declared that he recognized no power in the institu- 
tions of his Church to interfere with the operation and enforce- 
ment of the Constitution and laws of the United States. The 
Vatican in its home country has used its power to write into 
the Italian constitution by reference a whole set of special regu- 
lations on religion, education, and domestic relations which limit 
the legislative power of the Italian people. The Vatican claims 
that these regulations, since they are contained in a treaty with 
an independent foreign power (the Vatican), cannot be abro- 
gated by a mere majority decision of the Italian people except 
with the Vatican's express consent. 11 Hence, the Lateran agree- 
ments, as incorporated in the present Italian constitution in 1946, 
give the Vatican super-national rights over education, marriage, 
divorce, and the public employment of ex-priests; and they give 
Catholicism recognition as the sole official religion of the state. 

Pius XI in his 1930 encyclical on Christian Marriage not only 
disputed the right of any government to pass divorce laws, but 
asserted the supremacy of Vatican law above all other law in re- 
gard to the sterilization of the feeble-minded and, by clear 


implication, prohibited any Catholic judge from enforcing such a 
law when he said that the government's power over such a matter 
was a "power over a faculty which it never had and can never 
legitimately possess." 12 

In American Catholic schools, at the time of Al Smith's state- 
ment, the children were being taught that the Vatican had a 
moral right to annul the laws of the United States and other 
nations in several particulars. The Manual of Christian Doctrine 
of the famous Catholic teaching order, the Brothers of the Chris- 
tian Schools, published in 1926 in Philadelphia with the Im- 
primatur of Cardinal Dougherty, contained this passage: 

Why is the Church superior to the State? 

Because the end to which the Church tends is the noblest of all ends. 
In what order or respect is the State subordinate to the Church? 
In the spiritual order and in all things referring to that order. 
What right has the Pope in virtue of this supremacy? 
The right to annul those laws or acts of government that would injure 
the salvation of souls or attack the natural rights of citizens. 13 

Al Smith declared that he believed in the equality of churches. 
This is one of the beliefs which the hierarchy denounces at every 
opportunity, and in Catholic countries it will never permit its 
people to recognize the equality of Protestantism in any way. 
In the Italian concordat, the Vatican not only won special treat- 
ment for itself as "the sole religion of the state"; but it won, in 
the Italian laws of 1930, which supplemented the concordat (now 
sections 402-406 of the Italian Criminal Code), a concession 
which read: "Whoever publicly slanders the [Catholic] religion 
of the State shall be punished with imprisonment for one year." 
The same sections of the code provide a different penalty for 
the slandering of non-Catholic religions, declaring that in such 
cases ''the punishment shall be diminished" (italics added) . Many 
prosecutions have occurred in recent years in Italy in which 
the defendants have been convicted of slandering the Pope, both 
as a religious leader and as head of a foreign power (the Vati- 
can), but the most vicious slanders of Protestant leaders, which 
are circulated in official Catholic booklets, are unchallenged by 
the law. An even worse story of discrimination can be written 
about Spain, where Protestant churches are not even allowed 
to bear any external symbols showing that they are churches. 


Al Smith declared that he believed in the absolute separation 
of church and state. In spite of that personal conviction, his 
Church was expressing at that moment opposite opinions and 
policies in virtually every Catholic country of the world. The 
1926 Manual of Christian Doctrine, which I have quoted above, 
had this to say about non-Catholic faiths and the separation of 
church and state: 

What then is the principal obligation of heads of States? 
Their principal obligation is to practice the Catholic religion themselves, 
and, as they are in power, to protect and defend it. 

Has the State the right and the duty to proscribe schism or heresy? 

Yes, it has the right and the duty to do so both for the good of the 
nation, and for that of the faithful themselves; for religious unity is the 
principal foundation of social unity. 

When may the State tolerate dissenting worships? 
When these worships have acquired a sort of legal existence consecrated 
by time and accorded by treaties or covenants. 

May the State separate itself from the Church? 

No, because it may not withdraw from the supreme rule of Christ. . . . 

On what conditions are civil laws binding? 

. . , That the legislating power has no law contrary to the natural law, 
or to the positive divine law; otherwise a civil law is entirely null, and 
should not be observed. 14 

I have quoted these two passages from the famous Manual of 
Christian Doctrine, from the edition of 1926, to show that this 
was the teaching of the Catholic Church at the time Al Smith 
wrote his faulty analysis. But this is also the teaching of the 
Catholic Church today. These passages occur word for word in 
the 1949 edition of this same work, and this work is the standard 
manual for training American Catholic high-school students in 
the fundamentals of their faith today. 

Why did the American hierarchy permit Al Smith to misrepre- 
sent some of its basic teachings by ignoring such official state- 
ments? Certainly any Catholic political leader in Europe who 
had made such faulty pronouncements on Catholic policy would 
have been promptly rebuked for departure from the Faith. The 
answer, I suppose, lies in the realm of larger Vatican strategy. 
The Vatican is operated by very practical men who have learned 
from necessity to adjust their policies to left-wing governments 


or anti-clerical parties or secular democracies without any 
qualms of conscience, so long as they do not lose sight of the 
ultimate objectives of Catholic power. The Church's leaders 
are able simultaneously to appear in Spain as supporters of a 
reactionary Catholic dictator, in Belgium as champions of mon- 
archy, and in the United States as friends of complete democracy. 
In 1928, as long as the priests themselves did not officially and 
formally approve of Al Smith's interpretations of Catholic policy, 
it was considered quite feasible for the hierarchy to remain silent. 
The Church leaders recognized the enormous potential gains 
that might accrue from convincing the American people that 
they had nothing to fear from Vatican political designs. A charit- 
able American press, in the case of Charles C. Marshall versus 
Al Smith, glossed over the fact that Marshall in his subsequent 
writings demolished Al Smith's picture of Catholicism. 15 

Ever since 1928 the American hierarchy has continued to 
picture its policy on the separation of church and state as su- 
premely American. The apparent agreement between Vatican 
and American policy on this point is produced by using words 
in special senses. Catholic writers, for example, use the phrase 
"temporal power" in a narrow significance to deny that the 
Vatican has any temporal powers outside of its own tiny kingdom. 
An American Catholic leader, Father J. Elliott Ross, said in a 
book on Religions of Democracy: "The Pope has no civil or 
temporal authority over Catholics in the United States. It is 
true that the Pope is a temporal sovereign, but his temporal 
authority is restricted to Vatican City." 16 This sounds plausible, 
but it is based upon an artificially narrowed interpretation of the 
word "temporal." The truth is that the Pope actually has a great 
deal of temporal power over Catholics not only in countries 
which have made concordats with the Vatican, but over American 
Catholics as well. The whole financial administration of the 
American Church is controlled from Rome, and all its physical 
assets are, in the last analysis, owned by the Pope. Its buildings 
are held by bishops acting as corporate papal agents, and the 
Catholic people have no share in the titles. 

The Pope's authority in the United States also extends into 
many areas which American citizens consider both temporal 
and political. The public school is certainly a temporal insti- 


tution, and so is an American court. The Pope imposes penalties 
on American citizens for sending their children to public schools 
under certain circumstances, and he likewise imposes equally 
severe penalties upon American citizens for suing Catholic bish- 
ops in American courts. 

American Catholics, according to Archbishop Gushing of 
Boston in an advertisement circulated by the Knights of Colum- 
bus, "accept the Constitution without reserve, with no desire, 
as Catholics, to see it changed in any feature." This also sounds 
exceedingly persuasive, but there is a snare in the pronounce- 
ment. Catholic leaders accept the Constitution with the Catholic 
interpretation of the First Amendment. The Catholic interpreta- 
tion of the First Amendment is that the Constitution permits the 
federal government to pay public funds to Catholic enterprises 
so long as the Catholic Church is not the sole established church. 
This Catholic interpretation of the First Amendment was an- 
nounced by the Catholic bishops of the United States in 1948, and 
all subsequent statements of the hierarchy on this problem must 
be read in the light of that official interpretation. The Catholic 
bishops still interpret the phrase "separation of church and 
state" to mean that the two institutions should be separated after 
their Church has succeeded in winning life-giving revenues from 
the government. 

In their attack on the Supreme Court the bishops deplored 
the fact that the Court's interpretation of the First Amendment 
"would bar any co-operation between government and organized 
religion which would aid religion, even where no discrimination 
between religious bodies is in question." In their opinion the 
amendment bars only <( preferential treatment to one religion as 
against another" and they pledge themselves to "peacefully, pa- 
tiently and perseveringly work" to get the Supreme Court to revise 
its "novel interpretation." 17 The bishops will undoubtedly en- 
counter some difficulties in this task of persuasion, since the 
decision of the Supreme Court which they attack was handed 
down by a vote of 8 to 1. But, in the meantime, they do not 
morally accept even an 8-to-l judgment, and their declarations 
of allegiance to the First Amendment must all be interpreted 
in the light of their own semantic reservation. 

It should be pointed out also that while the Catholic bishops 


in the United States appeal to the alleged principle of the equal 
rights of religious groups to receive government support under 
our Constitution, the Church itself never recognizes the right of 
any other church to receive government support in any Catholic 
country. If the United States became a Catholic country, there 
is no doubt that the American bishops would soon abandon their 
alleged scruples on the subject and would demand government 
money for the Catholic Church alone. 

Some Catholic writers have tried to strengthen the Catholic 
interpretation of the First Amendment by reinterpreting the writ- 
ings of early American leaders like Jefferson and Madison to 
make it appear that they were perfectly willing to permit public 
expenditures for religious institutions in some cases. Perhaps 
the most extreme interpretation of this type has been made by 
James M. O'Neill, a Catholic teacher of oratory in Brooklyn 
College. In his book Religion and Education Under the Consti- 
tution, he takes such a bizarre position that even the Jesuit 
magazine America, which had denounced "the judicial tyranny" 
of the Supreme Court in the McCollum case and suggested the 
duty to resist such tyranny when "precious values of human life 
are at stake," attacked him because he "tries to prove too 
much." 18 That the Catholic interpretation of the First Amend- 
ment is a partisan and twisted interpretation will be evident to 
anyone who studies the record of the public discussions which led 
up to the adoption of that amendment. Our forefathers had the 
good sense to object to government support not only for one 
church but for any church. They could have provided in the 
Constitution as North Carolina actually did in its constitution 
of 1776 that there should be "no establishment of any one 
religious church or denomination in this state in preference to 
any other. ..." What they said was: "Congress shall make no 
law respecting an establishment of religion." It is true that Jeffer- 
son's interpretation that the First Amendment aimed to "erect a 
wall of separation between church and state" was not written into 
the Constitution itself but that interpretation was almost uni- 
versally accepted by his contemporaries, and those contempo- 
raries are more acceptable guides in such a matter than a group 
of present-day Catholic bishops, 

In a sense the effort of some Catholic writers to shift the argu- 


ment on church and state problems into constitutional channels 
is based on a desire to avoid direct discussion of the problem as 
a current reality. The main church-state issue in the United 
States today is not what Madison and Jefferson thought about 
the separation of church and state but what the American people 
today think about the wisdom of allowing any church to get 
support from public revenues. Even if our forefathers had 
all favored government financial support for churches as some 
of them did there would be a strong moral case against it 
today in a nation nearly half of whose people do not belong to any 
church. If our founding fathers had not written the First Amend- 
ment into the Constitution, we would feel compelled to write it 
in today. The American policy of separation has proved itself 
in the American experience, regardless of its constitutional sanc- 
tion. It is strong enough to stand on its own legs without the 
help of constitutional lawyers. The rule that public money should 
not be paid for religious enterprises is perhaps the most distinctive 
and certainly one of the happiest features of our democracy, and 
it undoubtedly has the support of an overwhelming majority of 
the American people. The Catholic hierarchy is not permitted 
to go along with this American policy, and it embarrasses Ameri- 
can Catholic laymen to admit that their Church is attempting to 
force them to make a choice between their Constitution and their 
Pope. Accordingly, to gloss over the unpleasant fact of this 
conflict and its significance, the hierarchy has evolved the theory 
that the Constitution does not really mean what the Supreme 
Court says it means. This stratagem at least postpones the un- 
happy day when the Catholics of the United States must make 
a moral choice between two sovereignties. 

The Spellman-Roosevelt Controversy 

The members of the American Catholic hierarchy contended 
with much vehemence that the defeat of Al Smith was due 
largely to "anti-Catholicism"; and they meant by this term per- 
sonal bigotry and prejudice against Catholic citizens because they 
were Catholics. Unfortunately, there was some truth in their 
charge, and fair-minded Americans have never ceased to deplore 
the prejudice and passions that were aroused during the Al Smith 


But there was also in the anti-Smith camp a great deal of 
clear-eyed and unprejudiced apprehension about the possible 
effect of placing in the White House a man who was even nomi- 
nally a disciple of a foreign power claiming certain rights over 
several million American Catholics in respect to important civic 
responsibilities. This apprehension seemed justified when, in the 
1930's and 1940's, the hierarchy began to encroach upon the 
constitutional principle of the separation of church and state 
with the active support of Catholic legislators. The erosion was 
at first very slight and purely local, but the process soon became 

The hierarchy had discovered in the Al Smith campaign that 
the technique of camouflage and counter-attack on the church- 
state issue was quite feasible in dealing with an electorate un- 
familiar with Catholic policies in other countries. Most Ameri- 
cans in 1928 did not know that the Catholic policy in Catholic 
countries like Spain, Portugal, and Italy flatly contradicted the 
picture of Catholic policy drawn by Al Smith. Although Al 
Smith was overwhelmingly defeated, the hierarchy did not suffer 
much loss of prestige. Church leaders successfully raised the 
cry of "anti-Catholic bigotry" against their critics, and many 
Americans who opposed Al Smith for perfectly honest and ade- 
quate reasons felt a little ashamed of themselves. They hesitated 
to be associated with denominational criticism directly or indi- 
rectly, even when the denominational critics were correct in their 
analysis of the potential danger to American institutions. The 
hierarchy took full advantage of the sensitiveness of most Ameri- 
cans about criticizing any church, and continued to denounce as 
"anti-Catholic" any leaders of public life who spoke frankly 
about Catholic demands on the public purse. This technique of 
vilification and counter-attack was well illustrated in the famous 
exchange of letters between Cardinal Spellman and Mrs. Roose- 
velt in 1949. 

The immediate occasion for the Spellman-Roosevelt contro- 
versy was the fight in Congress by Catholic legislators for the 
inclusion of parochial schools in the program of federal aid for 
education. In a decision in 1948, the Supreme Court had, by 
implication, made direct aid to Catholic schools unconstitutional, 
but it had already permitted the use of such funds for such 


auxiliary services as textbooks and school buses. 19 The Catholic 
hierarchy, seeing the opportunity to get federal money for a vital 
part of the Church establishment, opened a great campaign for 
federal contributions for parochial school buses. Representative 
Graham Harden of North Carolina had introduced In Congress 
a bill which cut squarely across the church-state battlefield by 
granting federal money to public schools without mentioning 
Catholic schools or their bus transportation. 

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, in a syndicated column in June 1949, 
came out for the traditional American principle of the use of 
public funds for public schools only, and said, among other 

Those of us who believe in the right of any human being to belong 
to whatever church he sees fit, and to worship God in his own way, cannot 
be accused of prejudice when we do not want to see public education 
connected with religious control of the schools, which are paid for by 
taxpayers' money. 

The reply of Cardinal Spellman is such a classic example of 
the hierarchy's propaganda methods that I have included the 
Spellman-Roosevelt exchange in the Appendix of this book. 
Here, it will be worth while to list several samples of the mis- 
representations used by Cardinal Spellman, and his techniques 
in counter-attack. 

(1) "... you aligned yourself with the author and other 
proponents of the Barden bill and condemned me for defending 
Catholic children against those who would deny them their con- 
stitutional rights of equality with other American children." 

There is no such thing as a constitutional right of Catholic 
children to get public money for any part of the Catholic educa- 
tional enterprise. The Supreme Court permits the use of public 
funds for such auxiliary services as textbooks and buses for 
Catholic schools, but the policy involved is entirely a matter of 
free choice and discretion. The Supreme Court has indicated 
that the use of public funds for textbooks and buses represents 
the extreme limit of special privilege for religious schools permis- 
sible under the Constitution, and it has denied the right of state 
legislatures to give money directly to Catholic schools for their 
major operations. All American children are granted equality 


under our laws in the American public-school system at public 
expense without any distinction of creed. The Barden bill pre- 
served this tradition of equality in a traditional manner. 

(2) "... you could have acted only from misinformation, 
ignorance or prejudice, not from knowledge and understanding." 

This type of attack, from a man who has never been a lawyer, 
legislator, parent, or educator, is worth noting. 

(3) "... the Barden bill the now famous, infamous bill 
that would unjustly discriminate against minority groups of 
America's children." 

The one thing which the Barden bill did not do was to dis- 
criminate against any minority group. It provided public as- 
sistance for public schools only, where Methodists, Catholics, 
and Jews could receive benefits as Americans without discrimina- 
tion. To provide special benefits from public funds for denomi- 
national schools would discriminate against the approximately 
46 per cent of the American people who do not belong to any 

(4) ". . . / had intended ignoring your personal attack, but, 
as the days passed and in two subsequent columns you continued 
your anti-Catholic campaign, I became convinced that it was 
in the interest of all Americans and the cause of justice itself that 
your misstatements should be challenged . . " 

The pretense that even the most broad-minded and tolerant 
citizens are "anti-Catholic" if they disagree with Vatican political 
or educational policy is the last refuge of the hierarchy in almost 
every public controversy. Unfortunately, it is so effective in the 
United States today that no ordinary legislator dares to risk the 
charge by honestly challenging any Catholic leader. 

(5) "You say you are against religious control of schools which 
are paid for by taxpayers' money. That is exactly what I, too, 

This is an extremely adroit misrepresentation, quite typical 
of the more skillful manipulations of words used in some Catholic 
propaganda. Throughout the whole world the Catholic Church 
stands for public funds for Catholic schools, and the complete 


religious control of those tax-supported schools by the hierarchy. 
It has never abandoned its demands for such support, plus Catho- 
lic control, either in the United States or in any other nation. 
Almost every issue of Catholic diocesan papers in the United 
States contains some more-or-less veiled appeal for such support. 
In making the statement which he did, Cardinal Spellman could 
salve his conscience only by putting a special, casuistic interpreta- 
tion upon the ordinary meanings of words. He does not at the 
present time ask for construction funds from the government for 
Catholic schools; and when he seeks government funds for exist- 
ing schools, he can rightly say that they are not "paid for" by 
taxpayers' money, since they were built originally by the contribu- 
tions of Catholic members. Ergo, he believes that he cannot be 
accused of wanting religious control of schools "paid for" by 
the taxpayers. But this is a juggling of words beneath the dignity 
of any man claiming moral leadership. All ordinary men would 
take the cardinal's statement as a renunciation of the demand for 
public money for Catholic schools; and the cardinal's Church 
has never made that renunciation. 

The two Catholic members of the 1947 President's Commis- 
sion on Higher Education were the only members of that 26- 
member board who refused to approve a report in favor of the 
use of funds for public colleges, and they based their refusal 
on the fact that the report did not recommend public funds for 
Catholic schools also. As I write these words in Rome late in 
1950, Italy's Catholic Action, the direct political instrument of 
the Vatican, is engaged in a campaign for precisely the objective 
that Cardinal Spellman "renounced." In the month of the Spell- 
man-Roosevelt controversy, June 1949, the Belgian Catholic 
(Christian Social) party, with Vatican support, won a national 
election on the issue of public money for Catholic schools, an 
election which the Catholic News described in these words: 
"Prior to the general election His Eminence Joseph Ernest Car- 
dinal Van Roey, Archbishop of Malines, had issued a call for 
unity among Catholics in the elections in order to overcome the 
leftist campaign against Catholic schools in Belgium. One of 
the planks of the Christian Social [Catholic] platform called for 
government subsidies for all free education, including Catholic 
schools." 20 


(6) "America's Catholic youth helped fight a long and bitter 
fight to save all Americans from oppression and persecution. 
Their broken bodies on blood-soaked foreign fields were grim and 
tragic testimony of this fact. . . . Would you deny equality to 
these Catholic boys . . . ? Would you deny their children equal 
rights and benefits with other sects rights for which their 
fathers paid equal taxation with other fathers and fought two 
bitter wars that all children might forever be free from fear, 
oppression and religious persecution?'' 

So did Methodists, Jews, and unbelievers but they died as 
Americans, and their friends who respect their memory are not 
using their heroism as an argument for denominational special 

After this exchange, the wave of public indignation against 
Cardinal Spellman was so intense that he was virtually forced 
to apologize to Mrs. Roosevelt, hat in hand. He issued a state- 
ment which attempted to correct the unfortunate impression by 
saying: "We are not asking for general public support of re- 
ligious schools. . . . Under the Constitution we do not ask nor 
can we expect public funds to pay for the construction or repair 
of parochial school buildings or for the support of teachers, or 
for other maintenance costs. . . , We are asking Congress to 
do no more than to continue, in its first general aid-to-education 
measure, the non-discriminatory policy it has followed in the 
School Lunch Act and other Federal laws dealing with schools 
and school children." Not many persons were deceived. Car- 
dinal Spellman had no authority to alter the world policy of the 
Vatican which demands public money for Catholic educational 
enterprises. : He could waive this demand as a temporary strata- 
gem, but only the voice of the Pope could renounce the policy. 

The cardinal had attempted to perform a double service by 
attacking Mrs. Roosevelt. He had attempted to warn all public 
personages in America that they might face a similar fate if they 
challenged the Church directly, and he had engaged in an adroit 
misrepresentation of Catholic financial demands. His tactics failed 
primarily because he faced the wrong antagonist, and because 
he used methods which were conspicuously crude. With a more 
tactful presentation, he might have succeeded against a less 
influential victim. The American press condemned his insolence, 


but scarcely any American newspapers followed through in the 
controversy and attempted to show how grossly he had misrepre- 
sented Catholic policy. Most editors played safe by deploring the 
controversy and the "misunderstanding," and left the issue itself 
hanging in the air. Actually, there was no misunderstanding in 
this famous controversy. Mrs. Roosevelt candidly and mildly 
stated the traditional American view of the separation of church 
and state. Cardinal Spellman challenged that view, and resorted 
to the familiar devices of smearing his opponent and understating 
his own claims. 

The cardinal did not actually use in this particular controversy 
the most popular Catholic argumentative device in favor of 
public funds for Catholic schools. This is the argument that the 
Church stands for the control of education by parents, and against 
the control of education by godless politicians. Actually, as I 
have already made clear, Catholic parents as against their priests 
have no rights over the education of their children. In the final 
analysis, the Church stands always and everywhere for the 
control of education by priests, and those priests are always and 
everywhere under the direct rule of Roman policy. 

Exploiting the Ignorant 

In almost every respect the devices of deception used by 
Catholicism are less extreme and crude than those of Com- 
munism. The one exception is in the field of religious-commer- 
cial fraud. 

I would not discuss this phase of Vatican policy if I were not 
convinced from observations in Italy, Mexico, and elsewhere 
that it is a social phenomenon of great importance in blocking 
man's progress toward efficient democracy. Liberals are reluctant 
to talk about such things because some of the practices seem to 
the casual observer to be an organic part of Catholic faith. My 
feeling is that the misrepresentation of the laws of nature and the 
exploitation of magic and superstition do not form a legitimate 
part of any religion. Probably the majority of educated Catholics 
would agree with me. Perhaps they would consider, as I do, that 
the exploitation of ignorant people by anti-scientific devices is 
an unfortunate and illegitimate addition to their religion. 

At any rate, it would be a happy circumstance if the minds 


of men could be so neatly divided into compartments that they 
could accept ludicrous theories of physics, medicine, and astron- 
omy with one part of the brain, and keep the other part of the 
brain clearly realistic for analyzing the problems of democracy. 
In actual life a philosophy which drugs one part of the mind is 
likely to drug the other part also. If a church teaches men to 
accept childish superstitions about the laws of nature, that ac- 
ceptance is quite likely to incapacitate the victim for serious 
thinking in all fields. 

This, in a nutshell, is the case against the anti-scientific decep- 
tions of the Catholic Church. They unfit men for democratic 
responsibilities in modern society, since ignorance is never a 
sound preparation for good citizenship. The net effect of Catholic 
policy is to keep the masses of the people in Catholic countries 
in a perpetually depressed cultural condition. They have an un- 
balanced diet of too much sentiment and too little science, and 
the result of their cultural malnutrition is that they are kept per- 
manently immature because they have never learned the art of 
mental growth in freedom. 

Many intellectuals look upon the perpetuation of mental child- 
hood among the Catholic masses with a kind of aloof tolerance 
as if it were quite harmless and slightly amusing and, in any case, 
none of their business. It seems to me that it can be considered 
harmless only by those who have failed to observe its appalling 
effects in Catholic countries. No one can consider the phenome- 
non amusing who has seen a Mexican or Italian peasant give his 
last peso or lira to a priest to win from a pink plaster saint a 
special blessing for the healing of an incurable disease. 

In the United States such exploitation of the poor and the 
ignorant is relatively inconspicuous. The American Catholic 
Church, surrounded by an environment of science and learning, 
is on its good behavior. The crudest forms of ecclesiastical fraud 
are avoided because of the possibility of a violently unfavorable 
public reaction. Perhaps that is one reason why the Vatican 
has never made an American-born citizen a saint. The details 
of the process might seem a little too outrageous for respectful 
treatment in a country like the United States which has a healthy 
skepticism concerning all matters of magic. But in all of Latin 
America and in much of Europe the Catholic Church is quite 


literally the apostle of anti-science, the accredited agency of folk 
superstition. On the upper cultural level the Church holds con- 
gresses of Catholic scientists, with papal blessings; but in prac- 
tice the priests' acceptance of modern science scarcely extends 
outside of the leading cities. 

The Communists have been shrewd enough to emphasize in 
their propaganda the most fraudulent aspects of Catholic prac- 
tice. In the spring of 1950 they caught a priest in Cinost, Bo- 
hemia, faking the "miracle" of a moving cross. The priest, 
according to the confession reported in the United Press, ad- 
mitted that he had fixed a twelve-centimeter spring to one end 
of a crucifix and tied the other end to a piece of rubber fastened 
to the canopy of the church altar, thus being able to produce 
the "miracle" at will from his pulpit. The Communists made a 
motion picture of the episode and circulated it widely. Actually 
the priest's promotion of the "miracle" of Bohemia was nothing 
unusual in the lower reaches of the European Church. Techni- 
cally the Vatican repudiates such trickery, but priests are per- 
mitted and at times encouraged to play upon the lowest super- 
stitions of their people by similar techniques. 

In the summer of 1949, the New York Times reported a typical 
miraculous incident in a Polish Catholic church. Some Catholic 
sextons in a cathedral in Lublin reported that a picture of the 
Virgin Mary "shed tears of blood over the church's afflictions 
in Eastern Europe." When a priest wiped away a drop of blood, 
another appeared to take its place. The word spread throughout 
that section of Poland, and nearly half a million people, with 
their prayers and their money, came to share in the divine bene- 
faction. "Pilgrims," said the New York Times, "from as far 
west as Poznan were standing today six abreast in a mile-long 
queue that stretched through the city's streets." 21 

The Italian Church's devices of deception in this field can be 
taken as the norm, since the Pope, as the primate of Italy, is 
personally responsible for the survivals of magic and sorcery in 
that country. The Italian Church continually exploits doubtful 
relics and worse than doubtful apparitions in the most commercial 
manner. The details would fill a library; I shall take the time here 
to cite only two minor examples within the range of my persona] 


One of the leading cathedrals of Italy, in Bad, continues to 
sell bottles of the "sweat" of the bones of St. Nicholas, a saint 
associated with Christmas, who is alleged to have been "trans- 
lated" about 1087. The cathedral has on exhibition one small 
bone of the saint in a narrow tube located under a basement altar 
several feet below sea level, and the hierarchy claims that this 
bone sweats so copiously that it yields enough divine perspiration 
for all the faithful who wish to purchase the perspiration at 60 
lire a bottle. The "perspiration" is collected by dropping a sponge 
on a silver chain into the below-sea-level hole. After being as- 
sured by the monsignor of the cathedral that this "sweat" was 
"good for all human ailments," in the presence of two Protestant 
clergymen, a member of the city council, and a former superin- 
tendent of the city's schools, I purchased five bottles for my 
inflamed eyes, and witnessed the purchase of similar bottles 
by impoverished Italians suffering from serious ailments. As 
the "sweat" is edible, it may be used with equal success for 
stomach ulcers or rheumatism. Bottles of this "sweat" are now 
being shipped for sale to Mexico and Latin American countries 
with full Church approval, and the Church hopes to build up 
a Christmas trade in the United States. 

The most famous and possibly the most lucrative miracle in 
Europe is the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius in 
Naples; this occurs under full official auspices two or three times 
a year, usually on the first Saturday in May, the 19th of Sep- 
tember, and the 16th of December. On each of these occasions, 
for a period of several days, two small vials of the alleged pow- 
dered blood of the saint, beheaded about 305 A.D., become lique- 
fied after being carried through the streets in gigantic ecclesiastical 
processions, headed by cardinals and other high prelates of the 
Church. The powdered blood in every case is sealed inside of a 
silver case or teca, looking very much like a large reading glass, 
and no independent critics or scientists are permitted to open 
the case and examine the product. The case containing the pow- 
dered blood is carried by Church prelates in the processions in 
such a way that only their testimony concerning the alleged 
liquefaction can be accepted by the vast throngs of worshipers. 
The priests tell the people, and the people believe, that the ven- 
eration of the blood-relics protects them from natural disasters. 


This childlike attitude toward nature is cultivated among the 
more illiterate people by the priests, especially in many rural 
parts of Europe, as a means of controlling them. The priest as 
nature's magician uses his power to "protect" his people. His 
techniques are less fraudulent than they were a hundred years 
ago, but the difference is only a matter of degree. Eveline B. 
Mitford, writing in the Monthly Review of London in 1906 
(Volume XXII), declared: 

In the present day there are 20 well-known gowns and 70 veils of the 
Virgin Mary, each pronounced to be the real one; 12 heads of St. John 
the Baptist, in tolerably perfect condition, besides numerous large frag- 
ments of his skull and seven extra jaws, each of great note, and held in 
much reverence in different parts of Europe. St. Julienne has 20 bodies 
and 26 separate heads, whilst St. George and St. Pancras each possess 30 
bodies, and St. Peter has 16; St. Peter the Dominican only possesses 2 
bodies, but he makes up for the deficiency in the number of his fingers, 
56 of which are scattered throughout Europe. 

The duplications have been reduced in recent years; the eccle- 
siastical mixture of magic and exploitation continues as before. 

Changing Unchangeable Dogma 

Many people suppose that although Catholic political policy 
may have no basis in Christian tradition, Catholic dogma has a 
clear pedigree dating back to earliest Christianity, and that all 
the important teachings of the Church are derived from perma- 
nent and unchangeable pronouncements of the Founder. This is 
just as clear an illusion as the belief that all the abuses of Com- 
munist power arise inevitably from original socialist doctrine. 
In both cases original dogma has been changed to meet changing 
circumstances. In the Vatican system, the amplified claims of 
dogmatic tradition and political power are interdependent, and 
are used to strengthen each other. As Milton said: "Popery is 
a double thing to deal with, and claims a two-fold power, eccle- 
siastical and political, both usurped, and the one supporting the 

The student of Church history can easily discover that the 
power doctrines of the Vatican are contrived concepts added to 
Christianity after the fourth century as part of its working pro- 
gram for expansion. The Vatican system is elastic in one sense: 


it permits doctrinal change by addition whenever the Vatican 
thinks that a change is necessary. Each consecrated doctrine, 
after it has become official, is described as unchangeable, but in 
practice the living Church always has the option of issuing a new 
"interpretation" which may quickly alter fundamental policy. 

This is an important fact to understand because many non- 
Catholics think of the whole matrix of Catholic faith as one 
consistent creation going back to Christ. Hitler in Mein Kampf 
expressed admiration for the Church's opposition to change and 
said: "Here, too, one can learn from the Catholic Church. 
Although its structure of doctrines, in many instances, collides 
quite unnecessarily with exact science and research, yet it is 
unwilling to sacrifice even one little syllable of its dogmas." 2 ? 
Hitler failed to note how easily the Vatican can discover a "prece- 
dent" for changing an unchangeable dogma, and how smoothly 
the transition to a new attitude can take place in an institution 
in which the hierarchy controls the rhythm of change. There is 
not necessarily any conscious deception in this process, but only 
an "adjustment" to life. 

The world was treated to a demonstration of this adaptability 
in November 1950, when Pius XII proclaimed the dogma that 
the Virgin Mary's body was taken up literally into heaven after 
her death. The strictly religious phases of this dogma are not 
pertinent to this discussion, but it is fair to note that a Church 
which can manufacture a dogma in this manner in the broad 
daylight of the twentieth century can easily duplicate this per- 
formance in the fields of economics and politics. Of course, all 
dogmas promulgated as divine truth have long traditions behind 
them, but the Pope is sufficiently powerful and adroit to shape 
the interpretations of tradition. 

It is a mortal sin for a Catholic to dispute Catholic dogma 
when once it has been sanctified by formal papal utterance. 
The highest Catholic theological journals admitted in 1950 that 
all historical researches "add up to the fact that we do not have 
a genuine historical tradition on the Assumption" of the Virgin 
Mary into heaven, and that "in the patristic tradition of the first 
six centuries we find a void regarding this problem." 23 The 
Pope, however, blandly promulgated the dogma of the Assump- 
tion on a purely "theological" basis. 


The London New Statesman and Nation had the temerity to 
draw the deadly parallel between this kind of ecclesiastical modi- 
fication of history and the variety so popular in Moscow. Would 
any influential journal in the United States have dared to speak 
so candidly as this British magazine did in an editorial on "The 
Assumption of the Virgin"? 

We have indeed returned to the Age of Faith. Moscow also builds 
myths in order to strengthen faith and re-writes history for her own pur- 
poses, knowing well that absolute authority demands credulity as well as 
obedience. Just as Rome rebuffs those liberal Christians who had naively 
hoped for unity in the belief that Rome was capable of compromise, so 
Moscow has disillusioned Socialists outside Russia who hoped that co- 
operation between Soviet and Western Socialists was possible after the 
experience of joint Resistance during the war. Moscow has proved as 
totalitarian as Rome. Soviet orthodoxy, however, has the advantage that 
the legends it invents are not incompatible with social progress and 
modern knowledge. They do not take away from common men the hope 
of a world in which life on earth may become sufficiently inspiring to 
make unnecessary a belief in supernatural glories. 

Neither form of religion can ever unify the West, since the very essence 
of Western civilization from the Renaissance onwards is the right of 
individual judgment, the use of the critical faculty. The belief that truth 
has not been finally revealed, but must be discovered by a process of 
inquiry, experiment and reason, is basic to our civilization. 24 

The Vatican has reinterpreted Church history for its own pur- 
poses much more successfully than the Kremlin has reinterpreted 
the history of Russia. As we have seen, it is quite clear from 
the fragmentary evidence that no authentic documents corrobo- 
rate the Catholic version of the Church's origin. There is no 
evidence that Peter ever was a pope or a bishop or that the 
Founder of Christianity sanctioned the system of ecclesiastical 
power which Rome has developed in his name. Peter may have 
preached and died in Rome, but beyond this relatively inconse- 
quential and uncertain fact little is known that could associate 
him in any way with the Vatican claims of Roman primacy. Yet 
these historical deficiencies in papal pretensions are never ad- 
mitted by Catholic scholars. The Catholic Encyclopedia in dis- 
cussing the Pope says: "History bears complete testimony that 
from the very earliest times the Roman See has ever claimed the 
supreme headship, and that that headship has been freely ac- 
knowledged by the universal Church." 


In 1949 the Vatican received a prodigious amount of free 
publicity in the press of the western world concerning approach- 
ing discoveries that would be disclosed to the world in the Holy 
Year as a result of excavations under St." Peter's into the alleged 
tomb of St. Peter. 25 The world awaited the revelations with great 
interest, but nothing came of them in the Holy Year except some 
interesting excavations which indicated that some persons were 
once buried under St. Peter's. No independent archeologists could 
be found who would certify any identifications, and even if the 
actual bones of St. Peter had been discovered, the discovery in 
itself would not have vindicated papal claims. Nevertheless Pius 
XII was given generous headlines when at the end of the excava- 
tions he announced as a fact that Peter's grave had been identified, 
and Catholic publicists proceeded to draw the traditional deduc- 
tions from this alleged fact. 

The truth is that the whole structure of Vatican power has 
virtually no support in biblical literature in spite of the papal 
claim that it has. The doctrines on which the power rests have 
grown up gradually as a result of the process of absorption and 
elimination, and they have survived because they have served 
the group in authority in the Church. (See Chapter 3.) 

Many of the most important doctrines, such as purgatory, birth 
control, the infallibility of the Pope, the granting of indulgences 
for sin in return for physical acts and monetary payments, the 
condemnation of all divorce, the monopoly control of marriage 
by the priests, and the coercive power of the Papacy, have no 
clear sanction in original Christianity. In fact, they have nothing 
more to do with original Christianity than Stalin's taste in philol- 
ogy with original Marxism. 

If this judgment seems overly emphatic, I invite the reader 
to take the list of doctrines and policies listed in the preceding 
paragraph and, one by one, check them with the Bible, trying 
to find any supporting evidence for their claim to be a part of 
Christianity. He may be astounded to find how much of Catholi- 
cism has been added to original Christianity. For the benefit of 
readers whose curiosity on this point is more than casual, I have 
listed in the Notes the doctrines, beliefs, and policies given in 
the preceding paragraph, together with the alleged biblical sup- 
ports for those doctrines, taken chiefly from a standard modern 


work, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, edited by Canon 
George D. Smith. 26 The student who cares to read the Bible 
verses cited will find that many of them either have nothing to 
do with the doctrines which the Catholic hierarchy pretends to 
derive from them., or that they support the doctrines with inade- 
quate or contradictory evidence. 

The practice of manufacturing dogma based on fake history 
is especially open to challenge when the beliefs so promoted 
concern modern education, politics, and medicine, and when they 
ostensibly summon religious authority to oppose modern science 
and modern programs for social welfare. Under such circum- 
stances the ecclesiastical management of truth has broad social 
consequences, and it is, therefore, a legitimate target for secular 
criticism. The most damaging doctrinal creations of this type 
are in the field of medicine and social hygiene, where the mainte- 
nance of medieval, anti-scientific, and, in some cases, inhumane 
doctrines in the twentieth century is based upon either clerical 
misrepresentation or the withholding of part of the truth from 
the Catholic people. The priestly fiction, for example, which 
has been used so extensively against birth control that Jesus 
Christ is opposed to contraception is just as clear a distortion 
of fact as the Kremlin doctrine that acquired biological charac- 
teristics are inherited. The social consequences of the Catholic 
fiction may be even more serious because overpopulation is a 
primary cause of war. 

Similarly, the manufactured dogma that God will never 
permit therapeutic abortion, even when the failure to perform 
the life-saving operation will certainly result in the death of both 
mother and unborn fetus, is something more than a theological 
error for the thousands of Catholic mothers who are sentenced 
to death by this rule. It is a dogma which has no necessary 
connection either with Christianity or with common sense. This 
rule, incidentally, is almost always understated by Catholic 
writers in the United States, with the result that its full barbarity 
is disguised. Henry Morton Robinson, in his best-selling novel, 
The Cardinal, describes how his priest-hero, Stephen Fermoyle, 
after persuading his sister not to marry a Jew, finally consigns 
her to death under the Catholic rule against therapeutic abortion 
when she is about to give birth to an illegitimate child. She 


could have been saved, but in that case the child would have 
been born dead. The child lives and the mother dies, and the 
priest-hero gasps self -righteously, "I have no authority to permit 
murder," when he is asked to make the choice between the life 
of the child and the life of his sister by permitting therapeutic 
abortion. Actually he permits murder by negligence the mur- 
der of his sister because the priestly rule on childbirth prevents 
the saving of her life. In Mr. Robinson's illustration the act of 
the priest is partially redeemed by the survival of the child, but in 
actual practice the Catholic rule binds the doctor against a life- 
saving therapeutic abortion even when the fetus is bound to die 
anyway. I have discused this issue in detail elsewhere. 27 

The Strategy of Penetration: the Kremlin 

WHY SHOULD DEMOCRACIES BE AFRAID of such totalitarian organi- 
zations as the Kremlin and the Vatican? Communists control 
only a minority of voters in the western nations, and in some 
western countries a tiny minority. The Vatican, even when it 
has a large and militant minority in a nation, cannot compel 
majorities to accept its position. 

One answer to the question is that both the Kremlin and the 
Vatican have learned to conquer nations without majorities by 
using the methods of infiltration and combination. Today the 
most dangerous kind of imperialism is that which may develop 
inside a nation through the technique of penetration by a de- 
termined minority controlled by an outside power. This strategy 
of penetration is far more effective than the old strategy of frontal 

Of course there is nothing objectionable as such in the pene- 
tration of a nation by any religion or system of political ideas. 
Every great nation attempts to develop friendship and sympathy 
for its aspiration among its neighbors by cultural penetration 
and propaganda. The advocates of Socialism, Esperanto, existen- 
tialism, Methodism, Americanism, Catholicism, and capitalism 
have a right to spread their faiths without let or hindrance 
wherever men are willing to listen, and it would be a sorry day 
for world progress if they were forbidden the right to import 
their concepts of society into any nation merely on the ground 
that those concepts were foreign. The legitimate exchange of 
ideas, however, becomes cultural and political imperialism when 
the invading power is unwilling to submit its ideas and policies 
for free discussion and choice in the market place of ideas, or 



when it does not in good faith accept the laws and regulations 
of the democratic society into which it penetrates. 

The Kremlin never accepts the laws of any democratic society 
in good faith because it regards rule by majorities as "bourgeois." 
When its leaders talk of establishing democracy in a nation, they 
mean the establishment of the power of a Communist minority 
in that nation. Self-determination, as Lenin pointed out, means 
"self-determination of the working class within each nationality 
rather than the self-determination of peoples and nationalities/' 1 
And if Lenin had completed his thought, he would have pointed 
out that the self-determination of the working class means self- 
determination of that inner segment of the working class which 
belongs to the Communist movement. 

The Kremlin's techniques for conquering without majorities 
are positively awe-inspiring, and probably they constitute the 
greatest single innovation in the development of political science 
in our time. The Communists, of course, owe some inspiration 
to fascism, and fascism owes more than a little inspiration to 
Catholicism; but no one should belittle either the originality or the 
effectiveness of the Communists. I shall list here some examples 
of the devices of conquest by penetration with which the Com- 
munists have become the most successful imperialists in modern 

The Controlled Political Party 

The controlled political party controlled by the Kremlin 
paved the way for every Soviet conquest in eastern Europe at 
the end of World War II. In almost every case the controlled 
party marched 'in with the Soviet "liberating" armies or was 
placed in power shortly afterwards. Hungary, Poland, Yugo- 
slavia, East Germany, Rumania, Czechoslovakia the story of 
internal conquest with Kremlin help is monotonously repetitious. 
The Communist Party began in every case as a minority group, 
and conquered the majority by manipulation and pressure. The 
techniques of conquest were in each case essentially the same. 

The controlled party which the Kremlin develops for such 
conquests is always a Russian party in spirit and objectives, and 
its leaders are usually products of special training in Moscow; 
but if it seems advisable, the Russian overlords are kept in the 


background. Sometimes the party members themselves do not 
know who the mysterious overlords are. Frequently the instru- 
ment of Communist penetration into a non-Communist territory 
is not even a party with an official Communist label. That is 
one reason why the mere outlawing of the official Communist 
Party in a country like the United States is scarcely worth the 
effort. Leaders of world Communism have long been trained 
to reorganize their movements quickly to escape prohibitive legis- 
lation. When Canada outlawed its Communist Party, the party 
promptly re-emerged with Communist leaders as the Labor Pro- 
gressive Party of Canada. In the United, States the Cominform 
is now in a position to use the Progressive Party in this way if 
the official Communist Party is outlawed. 

In many countries the favorite second front for the Com- 
munists is a captured Socialist party. In principle it may be 
quite indistinguishable from the Communist organization, but 
it is frequently useful for strategic purposes, and it may provide 
a refuge in times of special difficulty. Italy has provided a good 
illustration of this technique. There the satellite Socialist Party, 
headed by Pietro Nenni, imitates the language, tactics, and poli- 
cies of Palmiro Togliatti's Communist organization; it consti- 
tutes part of the Peoples' Bloc with the Communists, but 
maintains a technically independent existence. 

In the satellite countries of the Russian orbit in eastern Europe, 
when the Soviet troops arrived in 1945, they found a Russian 
left-wing party ready to take over joint operation of each govern- 
ment. The Communists naturally claimed an important part in 
some of these temporary regimes, since they had played a heroic 
part in the resistance movement against the Nazis and they 
had built strong underground organizations which survived the 
war. In a sense, they had earned an important role in the leader- 
ship of the new Europe, and even the political parties which 
were most hostile to Communism respected that claim. 

Sometimes the conquering Russian armies brought native 
Communist leaders in with them from Moscow, leaders who had 
received Moscow training. Dirnitrov gained power in Bulgaria, 
Gomxilka in Poland, Rakosi in Hungary, Ana Pauker in Ru- 
mania, Gottwald in Czechoslovakia, and Tito in Yugoslavia. 
All of them were disciplined veterans of Communism, trained in 


the techniques of penetration in the "university of revolution" 
in Moscow. 

I am reluctant to put down these names because I do not know 
how many of them will be hanged by their former comrades 
before this book goes to press. Gomulka in Poland has already 
been demoted for "nationalism" and "deviationism"; Gottwald in 
Czechoslovakia has declined in favor at Moscow; and Tito lives in 
the shadow of a large bodyguard. Dimitrov of Bulgaria, of course, 
is already dead, and nobody knows whether he died a natural 

When Allied troops moved into Europe at the end of World 
War II, the veteran democracies had no parallel political parties 
to use as instruments of American or British control. There was 
no Freedom Party under American auspices, with a German 
label, to promote democracy in West Germany. Able intelligence 
officers were sent from .the United States to Germany, but our 
mild and somewhat general pleas for democracy seemed strangely 
ineffectual when compared with the very specific revolutionary 
propaganda of the Communists, and the strong survivals of Nazi 
prejudice. The Communists had cells in every branch of the 
life of every occupied nation. They presented themselves as the 
only hope of the working class in the fight against fascism, and 
the victory of Russia conferred upon them a new prestige. 
The international Socialist (democratic) movement failed to 
parallel the Communist machinery of penetration in any way. 

The first task of penetration by any Communist party was 
to oust or discredit any non-Communist resistance movement, 
and in this maneuver the Communists did not consider it neces- 
sary to use any large amount of truth. Any tortured narrative 
of "socialist betrayal" seemed to be enough, in an atmosphere 
of distrust and disillusionment, to discredit the labor liberals. 
The Kremlin brushed aside the London-Polish Government in 
exile as "imperialist" and "fascist," and established its own puppet 
organization in Lublin, inducing Stanislaw Mikolajczyk to take 
a portfolio for a time, and then maneuvering him out of power 
in 1947. 2 This was typical of Communist invasion strategy. In 
all the penetrations of eastern European countries, the Com- 
munists demanded, and usually got, the key post of the Minister 
of the Interior, which meant control of the national police; and 


they also frequently captured the Ministry of Information. They 
were realists, and in the long run their realism paid off. With 
control of the police, they were always in a position to prevent 
a putsch by any opposition force, or to spring their own putsch 
if necessary at the moment when their opponents were off guard. 

The first political moves of the Communists in the conquered 
countries of eastern Europe were almost as adroit and circum- 
spect as their tactics in western democratic countries. They 
expressed eagerness to co-operate with all parties which were 
not tainted with fascism. In fact, they actually co-operated for 
a time with several new European governments in seeming good 
faith. It should be remembered that they had a broad base of 
popular support for their economic program in many parts of 
Europe, and that in nations like Czechoslovakia their plans for 
the nationalization of industry probably had majority approval 
long before the Russians arrived. 3 Also it should be remembered 
that the Russian armies came to Czechoslovakia with a special 
prestige because the people believed that Stalin had been willing 
to defend them against Hitler when Britain and France deserted 
them at Munich. 

In each conquered country of eastern Europe, the Com- 
munists called for a prompt election as a matter of strategy, and 
often the first election was reasonably honest. If they won an 
outright majority, the rest was easy for them. If, as happened 
in several countries, the Communists were in a minority even 
when certain allies among the Socialists were included in the 
reckoning, they promptly set out to create a crisis which would 
justify a coup in the name of restoring order. 

The story of Hungary may be considered typical, although 
Hungary had one favor which some of the other satellites were 
not granted: it had what one observer called the only free and 
unfettered elections which took place according to the Yalta 
Agreement. 4 When the Red Army moved into the country in 
1945, it brought with it a group of Communist emigres from the 
old Communist Hungarian regime of Bela Kun, men who had 
become skilled Moscow agents from years of experience. They 
set up a coalition government in which they treated their non- 
Communist associates with great politeness, but they were careful 
to keep control of the police for themselves. They persuaded 


the Social Democrats to make an agreement with them for a 

coalition, and with the help of this agreement they got control 
of the labor unions. In November 1945, they held a free elec- 
tion, in which they won only 17 per cent of the vote while the 
Smallholders Party won almost 60 per cent; but this did not 
daunt them. After a waiting period, the Communist newspapers 
announced in 1947 the discovery of a "large-scale conspiracy" 
connected with the Smallholders Party. Several leaders were 
arrested and "confessed." Disclosures of conspiracy were made 
while the opposition prime minister, Nagy, was away In Switzer- 
land, and he was warned not to return to his country. 

After liquidating most of the Smallholders' leadership, the 
Communists held another election but they still won in coali- 
tion with the Socialists only by a very narrow margin. Then they 
proceeded to liquidate the other opposition parties with new 
"discoveries." The Hungarian Independence Party was exposed 
as "fascist" and deprived of forty-nine seats in parliament; the 
Social Democrats collapsed under pressure. The Communist 
government then announced that the opposition parties "have 
since disappeared from the political scene. The voters have come 
to realize that the opposition parties, Pfelffer's Hungarian Inde- 
pendence Party and Barankovic's Democratic People's Party 
. . . had misled them . . . their real ambition was the restora- 
tion of the old regime .' . . the agents of capitalists and large 
estate owners, the saboteurs of protection and nationalization, 
were seeking cover. The leaders of these parties fled from the 
country, deserting their followers, and the parties themselves 
were dissolved." 

After that there was a "united list" election, and on May 15, 
1949, the People's Front triumphantly captured 95.6 per cent 
of the vote. 

In Czechoslovakia the process of conquest was more nearly 
legal. President Benes gave the Communists a very substantial 
role in the first post-war cabinet, and they went on from there to 
electoral successes. The Communists and Social Democrats to- 
gether won a majority in a reasonably fair election In May 1946, 
and the Communists became the largest single party In a new 
government. But Czechoslovakia revealed one difference from 
other conquered countries. Its Social Democrats were fairly 


sturdy democratic socialists who knew a dictatorship when they 
saw one. They realized that their democracy was being stolen 
from them, and they turned on the arch-traitor in their own ranks, 
the Socialist Zdenek Fierlinger, who had become Prime Minister, 
and threw him out of their party for betraying them to the Com- 
munists. They were ready to start a genuine movement for eman- 
cipation, and it might have led to Communist defeat in the 
elections scheduled for the spring of 1948. 

When the Communists saw defeat coming, they rigged a 
"crisis," and with the help of some very stupid strategy on the 
part of Socialist ministers, they captured the government. The 
excuse for the capture was that when the Communists' Minister of 
the Interior ousted eight chiefs of police and replaced them with 
Communists, the national parliament ordered their reinstatement. 
The Communists refused, and the non-Communist Ministers, ap- 
parently believing that the Communists were still bound by 
gentlemanly parliamentary traditions, resigned in protest. The 
Communists, instead of calling for an election, walked into power 
in February 1948 and took over one of the most advanced and 
intelligent democracies in Europe. Great Britain and the United 
States protested, but the Communists ignored the protests. The 
Security Council of the United Nations would have added its 
protest, but the Soviet Union interposed a veto. President Benes 
resigned and died soon afterwards; and Jan Masaryk, independent 
Foreign Minister, probably committed suicide. The new govern- 
ment held farcical "one-list" elections and captured almost 90 
per cent of the total vote. 

Czechoslovakia initially was typical of the more civilized 
Kremlin methods in using a controlled political party as a demo- 
cratic springboard. In much of eastern Europe the Communist 
techniques of capture and subjection have been more abrupt and 
arbitrary. Once a Communist party has captured power, the 
Kremlin keeps control through the machinery of the state itself. 
Within the Russian-dominated party those members who are 
hostile to Kremlin power are carefully weeded out, often by 
the operation of party spies or government secret police. The 
party leader who betrays some skepticism concerning Communist 
tactics is usually eliminated or demoted before he has become a 
serious source of infection. 


Through long experience as revolutionary conspirators, the 
Communists have learned the perfect technique to prevent a 
rebellion. They operate a continuous and extensive organization 
of informers within their own units, with special machinery for 
penetrating the spearheads of Communist action. 5 These inner 
cells of the Communist cells report only to the most secret and 
exalted leaders of the national Party or to the Cominform itself. 
Because of this inner intelligence service, the Kremlin is always 
able to strike first against any incipient revolt, either in the 
Soviet Union or in a satellite country. The potential leader of 
every revolt is usually spotted in advance and imprisoned or 
killed. Nikola Petkov, independent leader of Bulgaria's Agrarian 
Party, was hanged in 1947 by a Communist-dominated regime 
essentially for opposing the Communist regime in his country 
with some courage. The Communists knew that if a revolt was 
to came, Petkov was its logical leader. Petkov's trial showed 
how completely any opposition movement in any Communist- 
dominated country is honeycombed with Stalinist agents. Tito 
in Yugoslavia would undoubtedly have met the same fate in 
1948 if he had not built his own partisan movement as a core 
of Yugoslavia's independent Communism before the Russian 
armies arrived in Belgrade. His spies were one jump ahead of 
Stalin's spies. 

Communism's political strategy of penetration in non- 
Communist countries like Italy, France, Great Britain, and the 
United States differs only slightly from that in the nations of 
the Soviet orbit. On the upper diplomatic level, the Russian 
embassy in each country tends to be a dignified symbol of Com- 
munist prestige. The Russian ambassadors are naturally spokes- 
men for anti-capitalism and Kremlin policy, but not usually 
noisy or particularly provocative. 

The most successful political unit of penetration m a democ- 
racy is usually the small and very well-disciplined unit of obscure 
devotees. It takes the form of a Communist cell, with the lines 
of authority for each cell running upward to a Kremlin repre- 
sentative and not laterally to another cell. This vertical organiza- 
tion of power makes it difficult for any particular cell to become 
a center of rebellious infection. Each cell, being completely 


isolated from neighboring cells, finds any organization for local 
independence very difficult. The few occasions when all the 
cell members in a certain locality get together are systematically 
directed and controlled by Kremlin agents. The motions, the 
speeches, and the resolutions at regional and national mass meet- 
ings are as thoroughly prepared in advance as the resolutions 
at a conference of Catholic bishops. 

The former Franco-Italian Communist who writes under the 
pen name of A. Rossi has told, in his book The Communist 
Party in Action, the story of the techniques of penetration used 
by the Kremlin in France. Some of the most successful work 
of French Communism during World War II was accomplished 
by tiny cells of three to six persons, meeting secretly and often 
functioning as isolated bodies under a distant command. The 
cells acted always as "a society-within-a-society which regards 
itself as destined to destroy the society it is within." "Your true 
Communist," says Rossi, "thinks of himself as already a citizen 
of another polity, as subordinated to its laws even as he awaits 
the time when he can impose them upon others." 

The program for this work of penetration by each Communist 
cell in France was laid down in the utmost detail by the French 
Communist headquarters. The work of each cell was carefully 
inspected and supervised. Rossi quotes the "Plan of the Organi- 
zation and Activities of a Cell" drawn up by the Central Com- 
mittee of the French Communist Party in 1 940. The resemblance 
to military orders is striking, even to the use of the word "mis- 
sion" for each cell's assignment. After the war the cells were 
enlarged to about thirty members, but their techniques did not 
change very much. 

The cell is the Party's basic organizational unit. It is therefore impera- 
tive that each cell obey the following instructions to the letter. 

A. The cell should have a maximum of six members. The resulting 
decentralization facilitates the holding of meetings. It also makes for 
improved division of labor and enables the Party to maintain a close check 
on each militant's performance. 

B, Each cell is required to hold weekly meetings. The time and place 
of these meetings will be changed each week, and those who are to attend 
will be notified at the latest possible moment. Each meeting will adjourn 
at the end of 60 or at most 90 minutes. 


C. The agenda for each of these meetings will be as follows: (1) 
questions relating to finances; (2) questions relating to the cell's opera- 
tions; (3) questions relating to training and policy. 

The secretary of the cell will work out a detailed agenda based on this 
outline, and will explain it to the comrades present at the meeting in clear 
and precise language. 

Example: questions relating to finances (15 minutes). This will be 
the first item on the agenda. The treasurer must not fail to explain how 
important funds are to the Party, or to remind the comrades of their duty 
both to contribute to these funds and to collect contributions from the 
Party's numerous sympathizers. Everything relating to money should be 
taken up under this item. 

Questions relating to operations (20-30 minutes) . During this important 
phase of the meeting the cell leader, bearing in mind the Party's security 
regulations, should assign the members their respective tasks, and make 
all necessary explanations. Pamphlets; posters; slogans on walls and side- 
walks. Display of map of surrounding neighborhoods; assignment of 
stations and streets to each member. Decision on the most favorable hour 
for performing each mission, to be based on recommendations by the 

Questions relating to training and to Party policies (30 minutes). We 
must never forget that the cell is the Party's classroom, and that the 
comrades are expected to make a genuine intellectual effort to understand 
Party policy and Party tactics. The meeting should, to this end, discuss 
the Party's circulars, pamphlets, and newspapers. One of the comrades 
will offer a brief talk on current problems. Continuous study of the His- 
tory of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) and Left- 
wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder. 

Comrades, the present situation beyond any in the Party's history 
calls for order, discipline, courage, caution. You must seek these qualities 
in yourselves. 

Forward, comrades to become the true elite of the people and the 
guarantors of the final victory. 6 

These instructions for the operation of Communist cells could 
be repeated verbatim for almost every non-Communist nation in 
the world. 

The Temporary Coalition 

In all of their maneuvers within democracies throughout the 
world, the Communists act on the assumption that a small inner 
core can control the larger, formless mass of any political organi- 
zation by ceaseless agitation and obstruction. It is probably 
accurate to say that they have never won majority power in 
peacetime in any single nation in the world by democratic 


methods. But they have won so often by undemocratic methods 
that they may well ask: Why should we be respectful toward 

The Communists, in fact,, have no respect for democratic 
procedure in politics except to use it for Kremlin purposes. 
They are openly contemptuous of majorities and specialize in 
breaking them, up by internal intrigues and continuous disorder 
at meetings. (I saw this happen in the American Labor Party 
of New York when I was a vice-chairman of that organization.) 
The Communists are so confident of their ability to defeat almost 
any majority in a democratic body that they do not hesitate to 
join organizations in which they are greatly outnumbered. One 
of their favorite devices is to form a coalition with an opposition 
group, and then to capture the combined group for their own 

This device of the captured coalition was popular in Europe 
in 1945 and 1946 because both the Socialists and the Com- 
munists needed coalitions to keep reactionaries and monarchists 
from, returning to power. Communists were frequently welcomed 
with open arms by non-Communist parties because they used 
the language of "national unity" against fascist revival. And, as 
I have already pointed out, the Communists had a distinguished 
record in. several resistance movements. They were in a strategic 
position to exploit the confusion and instability of post-war 

Tn each country where the Communists attempted the coalition 
technique, the non-Communist leftists were gently maneuvered 
into a position where they could be absorbed or destroyed. Some 
of the independent leftists, no doubt, honestly believed that they 
could maintain their own identity and still co-operate with the 
Kremlin. In the summer of 1947, Joseph Cyrankiewicz, So- 
cialist Prime Minister of Poland in a Communist-dominated 
coalition, made a statement to Alexander Werth of The Nation 
which reflects the typical optimism of those who collaborated 
before they were swallowed up: 

We are two parties, each with its own particular "dynamics," and there 
are therefore inevitable difficulties; but the Communists cannot rule with- 
out the Socialists, and since there is no other practicable government 
formula, we are going to stick together, and relations are going to improve. 


This collaboration is important not only for Poland; it is important as an 
example for the whole of Europe. 7 

Cyrankiewicz made it plain that the Socialists wanted a coali- 
tion with the Communists not as part of a single party but as an 
independent member of a partnership. The Polish Socialists had 
had one of the strongest social democratic parties in Europe, but 
a year and a half later they succumbed, and a Communist- 
dominated United Party of the Polish Working Classes took over 
the government. 

The story could be repeated not only for Europe but for the 
United States as well. In leftist coalitions throughout the world 
the Socialists have never swallowed the Communists: the Com- 
munists have always swallowed the Socialists. If the Socialists 
refuse to be swallowed but show signs of doing their own swallow- 
ing, the Communists suddenly discover a counter-revolutionary 
"plot," and withdraw to avoid absorption. 

The names of the coalitions and individuals in eastern Europe 
after World War II are tragic mileposts in the story of Commu- 
nist intrigue and penetration. Mikolajczyk of Poland, Subasitch 
of Yugoslavia, Maniu of Rumania, Masaryk of Czechoslovakia, 
Petkov of Bulgaria, Tildy of Hungary, Szakasits of Hungary, 
Fierlinger of Czechoslovakia, Groza of Rumania, Georgiev of 
Bulgaria they were all once leaders of "independent" col- 
laborating parties, and when Communism captured their coun- 
tries they were forced to choose between collaboration and ex- 
tinction. In each one of their countries the Kremlin formed a 
collaborationist government with a co-operative front which soon 
became an official Communist front. In Yugoslavia, Albania, 
and Greece, the combination was called the National Liberation 
Front; in Bulgaria, the Fatherland Front; in Rumania and Fin- 
land, the National Democratic Front; in Hungary, the National 
Independence Front; in Poland, the Government of National 
Unity; in Czechoslovakia, simply the National Front. 8 

The Controlled Labor Organization 

Such uniform success in political conquest could not be 
achieved by the organization of human beings on the political 
level alone. The Communists have realized that people tend to 
vote in elections with the particular economic or cultural bloc 


to which they belong, and they have shaped their program in 
such a way as to control certain basic economic groups for their 
own purposes. They have specialized in organizing mass move- 
ments of labor, culture, and sport to build up favorable public 
opinion and prepare the population for complete conquest. They 
have learned to shift their nuclei to strategic units in any situation 
in much the same way as a general shifts his strongest reserves to 
the points of danger on a battlefield. 

The labor unions have been the most vulnerable groups for 
this Trojan-horse strategy. Since they are automatically anti- 
capitalist in their attitudes when they are engaged in conflict 
with the employers, their class objectives frequently coincide 
with the temporary aims of the Communist movement. Both the 
conservative labor union and the Communist Party attempt to 
improve the conditions of working people up to a point. 
After that point has been reached, the Communists attempt to 
use labor power for complete social revolution. 

Today the Communists control the largest labor organizations 
not only in the Soviet Union and the satellite countries of eastern 
Europe, but also in Italy, France, and China. The Communist- 
dominated C.G.I.L. in Italy is probably three times the size of 
its nearest non-Communist labor rival. In France the Communist- 
dominated C.G.T. is still the strongest labor federation per- 
haps three times the size of all other labor federations combined. 9 

For a time it looked as if the Communist techniques of infiltra- 
tion would succeed in the American labor movement. The inter- 
necine battle between the C.I.O. and the A.F. of L. gave the 
Communists a chance to assert their aggressive leadership, and 
they began to control considerable blocs of labor in several of 
our largest cities, particularly in the C.I.O. For a time they 
dominated a furriers' union, a transport workers' union, an elec- 
trical workers' union, a maritime union, a teachers' union, and a 
public employees' union. For a time also they developed tremen- 
dous power in the great new union of automobile workers. 

During the high emotional period of war co-operation between 
the Soviet Union and the west, it also seemed for a time that 
Communists might capture the world labor movement. The 
American C.I.O., together with most of the trade unions of 
Europe, joined the World Federation of Trade Unions, along 


with the labor organizations of the Soviet Union. At W.F.T.U. 
conferences in Europe, addresses of solidarity and brotherhood 
filled the air, and for a short time "representatives" of Russian 
labor actually spoke words of kindness concerning their subject 
brothers in capitalist countries. Soon, however, the subject 
brothers from the west realized that, UJL spite of words of fellow- 
ship, the Russians regarded the W.F.T.U. as just one more agency 
of infiltration. In every W.F.T.U. organization throughout the 
world, the Communists continued to serve as Russian agents, 
regardless of the interests of the members. The Kremlin played 
its cards so crudely that by 1950 there was nobody left in the 
W.F.T.U. except satellite organizations. Then the unions of the 
west formally withdrew and at London in 1949 formed a new 
world-wide democratic federation of free labor the Interna- 
tional Confederation of Free Trade Unions. 10 

One of the determining factors in alienating western labor 
was the complete inconsistency of Kremlin labor policy. In every 
crisis in recent years the tactics of Communist labor leaders and 
Communist unions have been subordinated to Kremlin political 
strategy. Their "friendship" for democratic labor has been turned 
on and off by Moscow order. In 1930 they were out to destroy 
every labor organization in America and substitute separate Com- 
munist unions, because their provincially minded general staff 
in Moscow entertained the illusion that the whole American labor 
movement was about to collapse. When they had been cured 
of this aberration, they embraced American labor with equally 
hypocritical affection during the period of sweetness and light 
of the 1930's, when Earl Browder was directed to swing Ameri- 
can Communism to the right. Their tactics in dealing with 
European labor have been equally treacherous and unpredictable. 

During the early months of the Korean war, the Communists 
in Italy used the C.G.I.L. and the Communists in France used 
the C.G.T. primarily as instruments of political agitation and 
sabotage. They attempted to block the landing of American amis 
in Naples by a general strike, and they temporarily disrupted 
the public services of almost every large city in Italy in protest 
against "American imperialism." In 1950 one of the favorite 
placards carried in Italian parades of the Communist-dominated 
C.G.I.L. read: "President Truman is a war criminal" When a 


great new labor movement of Italian workers developed in oppo- 
sition to such subservience to Moscow, its leaders were accused 
of "destroying the unity of Italian labor." 

During the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact, nothing was too 
abusive for Communists to say about labor conditions in the 
western democratic nations, and no strike against such conditions 
could be considered unjustified. Kremlin organizers poured into 
American industry to foment disputes and capture union locals. 
In the great seaports of the United States, Soviet agents sabotaged 
vessels carrying arms to Great Britain and France, and created 
as much obstructive turmoil as they could. A Communist leader 
was trailed through western American cities giving detailed in- 
structions at cell meetings for disabling railroads by the use of 
emery dust and steel shavings. 11 

Then, suddenly, when Russia was invaded by Hitler's forces 
in June 1941, and the Kremlin needed American production, 
the whole labor-union policy shifted. The Communist nuclei in 
the American unions accepted with lamb-like gratitude the very 
conditions that they had denounced a few months earlier. They 
pleaded emotionally for increased production, temporary sacri- 
fice, and the unity of the working class. 

Such reversals of policy finally revealed to American labor 
that, no matter how courageous and self-sacrificing certain in- 
dividual Communists might be, the unions could never trust a 
Communist leader. The American unions proceeded to clean 
out Communist leadership and to expel Communist-dominated 
groups. The C.I.O., after a brief period of tolerance, formally 
ousted all Communists and Communist unions from membership 
in 1950. The final proof of anti-Communist housecleaning in 
American labor came in the summer of 1950 when even the faith- 
ful followers of the Australian Communist, Harry Bridges, finally 
deserted him in San Francisco at a time when he was attempting 
to block the United Nations' war effort in Korea. 

How do Communists capture a labor union? 

Usually the process is quite simple, because labor unions do 
not draw lines against persons on the basis of political affiliation. 
The man who finds work in a particular industry is usually able 
to walk into the front door of the recognized union in that in- 
dustry. Many of the important policies of the union are deter- 


mined in open membership meetings where the well-prepared 
newcomer can influence votes. The open membership meeting, 
particularly in time of strike, is fair game for any well-organized 
Communist minority. 

The Communists in any particular union usually employ the 
device of the preliminary caucus. They meet in advance of regu- 
lar meetings and plan a strategy for the open meeting. Then, 
at the meeting or convention, they use every reasonable and 
unreasonable device of oratory and parliamentary law to put 
over their program. When their opponents are in command, 
they specialize in continuous disorder. Frequently they win con- 
trol of a labor organization by the simple device of exhausting 
all their enemies. They are willing to stay up late into the night 
in order to effect a parliamentary coup when their opponents 
are too tired to fight. 

Most of the members of any mass organization tend to follow 
the lead of the most aggressive segment in that organization, 
and the Communists know how to trade upon that fundamental 
trait of human society. They bring to their task careful training 
and iron discipline, and usually they are effective speakers. They 
can think of a good non-Communist reason for the most trans- 
parently partisan edict of the Kremlin, especially after they have 
been carefully coached by a Party strategist in a preliminary 
caucus. By jumping up to speak in every labor meeting and by 
speaking with force on every appropriate motion, they frequently 
create the appearance of a strong mass movement and throw their 
opponents into confusion. It is commonly said that any Com- 
munist minority of 25 per cent in any union can dominate the 
entire membership, especially if it can capture the key offices of 
the organization at a single election. 

Of course the Communists have more than strategy to support 
their position in the labor movement. They have human dis- 
content based on social inequality. Usually they know how to 
play upon that discontent by picking their causes carefully and 
by dramatizing some actual maladjustment or injustice in society. 
More important still, they are genuine devotees of class power, 
^nd a labor union often needs class power to win its legitimate 
demands. In time of strike even the most conservative unions 
automatically seek militant leadership, and the Communists are 


there to supply that type of leadership. As professional anti- 
capitalist fighters they are frequently welcomed by the non- 
Communists in much the same way that the tough professionals 
of the regular army are welcomed by a company of volunteers. 
For the same reason, Communists are frequently chosen as shop 
chairmen in factories by non-Communist majorities, because 
they are bold fighters for labor's claims. 

It is one of the ironies of the story of Communism in the labor 
movement that, in spite of the exalted professions of Soviet 
allegiance to labor welfare, the labor unions of the "Socialist 
Motherland" itself are oppressed and disfranchised groups which 
do not actually have as much freedom as unions in capitalist 
countries. In fact, labor unions in the Soviet Union have become 
primarily company unions of the totalitarian state. They do not 
dare to start an unauthorized strike, or attack a Kremlin political 
directive, or insist on the elimination of an unsound industrial 
practice. The living standards of their members are far below 
those of the west, but they dare not discuss this fact candidly in 
Russian labor circles. 

Capturing Bourgeois Culture 

The general techniques of Communist penetration into cultural 
units are similar to the tactics used in labor unions. The Com- 
munists attempt to duplicate in non-Communist countries the 
network of agencies of public opinion which have been developed 
in the Soviet Union for controlling all social life. Their deceptive 
strategy was discussed in Chapter 9. There are dancing classes 
and workers' universities and youth sports clubs and theatrical 
leagues and musical societies and art conferences, all outwardly 
dedicated to sports, music, etc., and all controlled by Kremlin 
agents and Kremlin directives. In these auxiliary societies the 
Communists attempt to make Communist life a whole life, ap- 
pealing and well-rounded. 

The emphasis of these auxiliary societies in non-Communist 
countries is exactly contrary to the emphasis in the Soviet Union. 
In Russia the appeal is for co-operation and loyalty; in the democ- 
racies of the west the aim is to stimulate social discontent with 
existing conditions. Reform is constantly stressed, and reform 
committees spring up demanding everything from the revision of 


school textbooks to a reduction in the price of potatoes, and fre- 
quently the accomplishments are quite substantial and genuinely 
beneficial to the community. 

In the United States it was almost impossible for many years 
to organize a group in any large American city for cheaper milk 
or better housing or racial fair play or clean government, without 
encountering a well-trained inner core of Communists in the 
organization. In the early stages of endeavor the Communist 
nucleus would usually allay suspicion and create sympathy by 
hard work for the fundamental purposes of the group. After the 
Communist representatives had won the confidence of their fellow 
members, they might suddenly turn the organization into a puppet 
Communist front, passing resolutions against the atomic bomb 
or the "imperialist" invasion of North Korea. This type of pene- 
tration in the United States was especially successful in the 1930's 
before the great exposures of Communist fronts. Today western 
democracy is on guard, and the Communist-front organizations 
can claim almost no genuine supporters outside the ranks of the 
Kremlin faithful. 

International Infiltration 

Would the Kremlin have the audacity to use its familiar tactics 
of penetration and obstruction in the United Nations? Would it 
treat a world organization also as a propaganda cockpit? Those 
were the questions which anxious diplomats asked privately when 
the United Nations was formed at San Francisco. The diplomats 
did not have long to wait for an answer. Between 1945 and 
1951, Molotov, Vishinsky, Gromyko, and Jacob Malik used the 
machinery of international conferences and the assembly halls 
of the United Nations almost continuously for the same kind 
of obstructive tactics that had characterized Communist strategy 
in the labor world. 

Until 1950 many persons of intelligence had been optimistic 
about the possibility of assimilating the Soviet Union in a society 
of nations. The very fact, they argued, that Stalin had come in 
on the ground floor of the United Nations at San Francisco was 
a hopeful sign. Might not Moscow ultimately recognize in good 
faith the plans for a democratic parliament of man? Even the 
fact that Russia demanded the right to veto all basic decisions in 


the Security Council seemed to many charitable observers merely 
an evidence of temporary suspicion. After all, the United States 
itself was unwilling to forgo the veto as a safeguard. 

As Russia blocked every move for democratic control of the 
atomic bomb and every attempt to reach democratic agreements 
for permanent peace, the western diplomats began to realize that 
the Russians were as contemptuous of majorities at Lake Success 
as they had been in eastern Europe. They looked upon the 
representatives of other nations in the United Nations as deluded 
tools of capitalism and imperialism who must be by-passed or 
vanquished in the onward march of Communism toward world 

Behind the crude maneuvering of Soviet diplomats in the 
United Nations was the basic doctrine which made Kremlin 
strategy possible. The Kremlin was infallible, and it had no obli- 
gation to yield to hostile majorities anywhere. It served a higher 
moral purpose above bourgeois democracy, and so it had the right 
to enter every democratic opposition movement for the purpose 
of discrediting and conquering it. 

The western world was reluctant to admit the truth of this 
simple fact, but it could not do otherwise after the sorry exhi- 
bition staged at Lake Success by the Kremlin in August 1950, 
when Jacob Malik of the Soviet Union for a whole month blocked 
the efforts of other countries to discuss the Korean issue frankly. 
He practiced before the Security Council of the United Nations 
the same crudely obstructive policies which Communist cells had 
been practicing in non-Communist labor unions for a generation. 
He mangled parliamentary law and rode roughshod over all the 
gentilities of human association. 

The New York Times made an interesting comment on the 
reasons for Mr. Malik's conduct. It said: "This idea of the Krem- 
lin's infallibility (and presumably Mr. Malik knows what punish- 
ment he would face if he departed from it) helps to account for 
the singular spectacle in the Security Council. It makes it possible 
to understand why a presumably intelligent man, talking to other 
presumably intelligent persons, can with a straight face insist for 
two weeks that war is peace, that self-defense is aggression, that 
night is day and that black is white." 

Docs not the claim of infallibility in any institution make it 


impossible for that institution to face problems of truth and 
falsehood honestly? I think that a good case can be made out 
of the thesis that absolute power is amoral. It knows only obedi- 
ence and disobedience, not right and wrong. 

In perspective that seems to be the fundamental fact behind 
the Kremlin strategy of penetration. It has no respect for the 
adverse judgments of mankind in any organization, democratic 
or undemocratic, because it is superior to and exempt from the 
corrective processes of democratic freedom. It considers itself 
the fount of all sound moral judgment. We shall see in the next 
chapter that that is also the fundamental belief behind the Vati- 
can's strategy of penetration. 

The Strategy of Penetration: the Vatican 

THE MISSIONARIES OF THE KREMLIN penetrate the jungles of 
capitalism with the gospel of a classless society according to 
Lenin, and the missionaries of the Vatican penetrate all non- 
Catholic countries with a gospel of faith, service, and loyalty 
which emphasizes almost all Kremlin values in reverse. In this 
chapter I am interested in the machinery of power which under- 
lies that penetration and makes it possible. The Vatican assumes 
the right to operate within every non-Catholic nation not only a 
Catholic church but also a Catholic school system, a Catholic 
political party, a Catholic labor federation, and a Catholic diplo- 
matic establishment, all completely subordinate to the Roman 
Curia. Since I have already discussed some phases of these insti- 
tutions, I shall confine myself here to political parties, labor 
unions, and papal diplomats, with a few incidental remarks about 
the Church as a biological bloc. 

It is obvious that the Vatican's techniques of penetration are 
in sharp contrast to those of the Kremlin. The Kremlin relies 
on violence wherever it is deemed to be necessary; the Vatican 
does not or, at least, has not done so in recent times. The 
Kremlin aims to destroy the governments which it cannot con- 
quer by persuasion; the Vatican is, on the whole, law-abiding and 
non-revolutionary. But the Vatican has one special advantage 
not shared by any other church or government. Since it is a 
church and a state, it can enter into any nation which permits 
the free exercise of religion and use its machinery of power to 
further political as well as religious ends. Simultaneously it can 
use the reservoirs of religious devotion and prejudice among its 
people in behalf of strictly political objectives. Because of this 
ambidextrous facility, the Catholic leader who is attacked for 



the stupidity of the Church's formula on some controversial politi- 
cal issue can fall back on religious emotion and loyalty to dis- 
guise and defend that stupidity; and similarly when the right of 
a religious institution to play an aggressive role in the determina- 
tion of foreign policy is questioned, the Catholic protagonist can 
revert to the ancient claim that his Church has always been more 
than a church and that it is a sovereign power with political 

In practice anyone who questions the right of the Church to 
operate in a field which seems to lie close to the heart of secular 
democracy is accused by the Vatican of opposing the Church's 
"spiritual authority." That phrase, "spiritual authority," was 
used in this connection in October 1949, by Count Giuseppe 
dalla Torre, editor of the Vatican's Osservatore Romano, in 
stating the negative side of the Catholic right of penetration. 
"Wherever a state," he said, "putting the Catholic Church in 
the same category as other denominations whose clergy is autono- 
mous and self-governing, refuses to recognize a superior spiritual 
authority because it is outside its jurisdiction, it not only hinders 
the freedom of the Catholic Church but it denies its organic 
structure." 1 This is at once a warning against any possible at- 
tempt by any government to force the democratization of the 
Catholic Church within its jurisdiction, and a backhanded state- 
ment of the right of the Vatican to enter any country with its full 
quota of religious, moral, cultural, and political policies. 

The Priest-Diplomats 

In the world of international power politics the most effective 
agents of the Church are its priest-diplomats. They are simul- 
taneously politicians and missionaries, prepared to act in either 
role according to the demands of any particular situation, and 
armed with the special knowledge supplied to them by the Vati- 
can's world-wide intelligence network. The Vatican now has 
thirty-six Nuncios, Internuncios, and lesser diplomats at the 
world's capitals who correspond in functions and rank with the 
ambassadors and ministers of secular nations; and twenty- three 
Apostolic Delegates who function as ecclesiastical representatives 
in countries which do not have diplomatic relations with the 
Holy See. 2 The regular Vatican diplomats live in elaborate estab- 


lishments and maintain a considerable pomp and splendor. In 
most capitals they are actually the doyens of the diplomatic corps, 
taking precedence over the senior ambassadors of the oldest lay 
states. This special recognition goes back to the Congress of 
Vienna of 1815, and the Vatican has always insisted that this 
precedence should be maintained. 3 

The Vatican's diplomacy has become especially important in 
recent years because of the Church's active participation in the 
struggle against Communism. Ordinarily the Cardinal Secretary 
of State is the only cardinal who lives in the Vatican Palace, and 
he sees His Holiness every morning to discuss the world's diplo- 
matic situation. During recent years, when Pius XII has nomi- 
nally been acting as his own Secretary of State, the work of the 
Office has been performed by two of the Vatican's most important 
figures, Monsignor Giovanni Montini and Monsignor Domenico 
Tardini. Monsignor Montini, although still too young to succeed 
Pius XII, is considered by insiders as a possible future pope. 
He handles directly the ordinary current affairs of Vatican diplo- 
macy, while Monsignor Tardini handles special agreements. 

The Church's diplomatic establishment makes the Vatican a 
nerve center of political intelligence and an important factor 
in the manipulations of power politics. Today, for example, the 
Vatican through its far-flung diplomatic representatives is the 
leading champion of the internationalization of Jerusalem, and it 
is working with Moslem powers on this issue against the majority 
of the United Nations Assembly. It is generally acknowledged 
that it was Vatican diplomatic pressure which swung the votes 
in the United Nations Assembly on December 9, 1949, to the 
internationalism formula. In the close and dramatic fight between 
Israel and the Vatican at Lake Success, several Catholic countries 
were induced to switch their votes from the negative to the af- 
firmative column by direct Vatican intervention. The final 
affirmative vote was assured when Cardinal Spellman wired the 
President of the Philippines and persuaded the Philippine regime 
to change its vote from abstention to Yes. 4 

The Vatican's influence on the political policies of secular 
states is exercised not only through its own diplomats in foreign 
capitals but through the diplomats of foreign powers who are 
assigned to the Holy See. Some thirty-six ranking ambassadors 


and ministers from many of the world's greatest powers now 
maintain their establishments near the Vatican and meet periodi- 
cally with the acting Secretaries of State, or with the Pope himself 
if a crisis arises. Many of these nations which recognize the 
Vatican in this way are not primarily or even substantially Catho- 
lic nations. Great Britain, with a Catholic population of only 
6 per cent, has a representative; Egypt, with 1 per cent, and 
Finland, with one-tenth of 1 per cent, also have ministers. 
The United States (at this writing), the Soviet Union and its 
satellites, Israel, and the Scandinavian powers do not maintain 
official relations. 

It has been a source of great disappointment to the Vatican 
that no official representative from the United States has been 
appointed since the days when the Church controlled the Papal 
States of Italy. Even in those days from 1848 to 1867 our 
government did not recognize the Papal States as a church, and 
Seward warned our minister resident at the Holy See in 1862 
that "so far as spiritual or ecclesiastical matters enter into the 
question they are beyond your province, for you are a political 
representative only." When Pius DCs regime made difficulties 
for a Protestant church which desired to worship outside of the 
American legation in Rome, Congress passed an act saying that 
"no money hereby or otherwise appropriated shall be paid for 
the support of an American legation at Rome." Since then the 
United States has had no official representative at the Vatican, 
and the Vatican has sent to Washington only religious repre- 
sentatives (Apostolic Delegates). Franklin Roosevelt, however, 
sent the Protestant business man Myron Taylor to the Vatican 
in 1940 as his personal representative, under the pretext that 
contact with the Vatican was important for purposes of co- 
operation in a war period; Taylor resigned in 1950. 4a 

The Vatican is so sensitive to the factors of prestige and prece- 
dence involved in full recognition that the Pope will not accept 
any part-time assignment of any diplomat who is also accredited 
to the government of Italy. He insists on full recognition as 
the head of an important sovereign power, and apparently he 
believes that the acceptance of the part-time services of an ambas- 
sador to Italy would impair the Vatican's standing in world 


The exchange of diplomats makes it possible for the Vatican 
to maintain constant pressure on all secular powers in favor of 
any particular political policy. The Vatican's representatives 
mingle with government leaders at the highest level and have 
an unexcelled opportunity to affect their personal judgment. 
Pressure from the Vatican is not necessarily limited to religious 
matters; in middle and western Europe particularly the Vatican's 
finger is in almost every political pie. Its diplomats are, of course, 
always and everywhere vigorous propagandists against the Soviet 
Union. In Spain they are propagandists for Franco; in Belgium 
they are propagandists for the monarchy; in France they are 
propagandists for the separate Catholic labor movement; in Italy 
in 1950 they played the decisive role in "persuading" the Italian 
parliament to pass a new anti-divorce law outlawing the recog- 
nition of foreign divorce decrees. (They had already made Italy 
officially a land of no divorce.) 

This pressure is not always exerted officially by the Roman 
diplomats themselves, but they have a large corps of bishops 
and priests to campaign for them in the native vernacular. Nor 
is the intelligence network of Vatican diplomacy limited to official 
diplomats. Unofficially every bishop in the world is part of the 
diplomatic establishment of the Vatican, and his regular reports 
are available in the making of foreign policy. The bishops' re- 
ports, in fact, are not confined to religious and moral problems, 
since they cover all matters that may affect Vatican power and 
prestige. Also their services as political propagandists are always 
available to the Vatican, even in countries where there is no 
Nuncio. In the United States in 1926-27, for example, virtually 
every Catholic bishop in the nation was a pro-war propagandist 
against Mexico; but there was no Nuncio at Washington to direct 
the diplomatic campaign, and there was no need of a Nuncio. 
The direction came from Rome through the "regular channels." 

In matters of world political policy, all bishops, priests, and 
Catholic editors are, in a sense, diplomats for the Vatican who 
follow the papal line almost as faithfully as Communist leaders 
follow the Kremlin line. Before World War II, when the Vatican 
wanted to keep the United States from intervening in Europe, the 
Catholic press and the Catholic pulpit throughout the world 
sounded the message of non-intervention. Today the tone of the 


pulpit and the press is exactly the reverse, since the political in- 
terests of Vatican diplomacy call for the participation of the 
west in the war against Communism. 

The final aim of every Vatican representative to a foreign gov- 
ernment is the official concordat, an agreement which gives legal 
recognition to the special privileges of the Church in the nation. 
It is a full-blown political treaty between two sovereign powers, 
and it is executed with all the solemnity of the most important 
secular treaty. Usually when it is made with a Catholic country, 
it recognizes the Roman Catholic religion as the sole official 
religion of the state, and grants public money to Catholic schools, 
or Catholic control of the teaching of religion and morals in the 
public schools. 

Frequently the concordat grants concessions to political rulers 
to exercise some power over the Church, such as the confirmation 
or nomination of the chief bishops in a country. In all these 
matters the Catholic people have no power whatever; the Vatican 
blandly assumes that its special representatives and bishops can 
bargain for the people in the same way that European diplomats 
once bargained for the subject peoples of their empires. The 
diplomacy of concordats is imperial diplomacy. Hence, the popes 
have always preferred to make concordats with absolute rulers 
because it is easier for imperial diplomats to deal directly with 
imperial diplomats without the intervention of annoying parlia- 
ments. The assumption that concordats may rightfully be im- 
posed upon people from above characterized the negotiations 
between Pius XT and Mussolini, and as a result the future genera- 
tions of Italy were bound by an agreement which, when incorpo- 
rated into the constitution as it was in 1946, prevents the Italian 
people from passing laws in their parliament permitting divorce 
or otherwise contravening Catholic canon law in the field of 

But the day of concordats is dying. Their popularity reached 
a peak in the nineteenth century when the Papacy made twenty- 
six leading international bargains, most of which were very favor- 
able to its interests. Then, as democracy increased throughout 
the world, the people rapidly discarded the old concordats. Pius 
XI in his reign of seventeen years signed eighteen conventions 
with states, of which at least ten were major concordats; but today 


only one of his major concordats, that with Italy, is still function- 
ing. 5 As democracy has increased, the people of the west, even 
the good Catholic people, have become more and more reluctant 
to bargain away any of the nation's cultural or moral rights in a 
treaty with a foreign government, even when that government 
claims exclusive jurisdiction from God. The American attitude 
toward such concessions is becoming general. It is part of the 
American tradition that the rights, privileges, and prerogatives 
of any church functioning on American soil should be determined 
directly by the people through their representatives. 

The Controlled Political Party 

Since political power in modern democracies is based upon 
political parties, the Vatican has rather reluctantly accepted the 
necessity of building its own political parties in order to effect 
its own purposes. The controlled Catholic party is a fairly recent 
development in Vatican strategy. Having grown up in a pre- 
democratic era, the Papacy ignored mass political movements as 
long as it could gracefully do so, and bargained successfully with 
princes and kings. When democratic parties first began to de- 
velop in nineteenth-century Europe, the Papacy was apprehen- 
sive. The popes were quite scornful of democracy and quite 
frankly counter-revolutionary. As late as 1885, Leo XIII in 
his Jmmortale Dei, which was the nineteenth-century bible of 
Catholic political philosophy, spoke of democratic parties in 
the hostile language of a medieval prince, and declared that the 
doctrine of the sovereignty of the people "is doubtless a doctrine 
exceedingly well calculated to flatter and to influence many 
passions, but which lacks all reasonable proof, and all power of 
insuring public safety and preserving order." (It should be noted 
that this statement was made about one hundred years after the 
birth of the American Constitution; and during that entire century 
American Catholics had been asserting that there was no conflict 
between its philosophy and that of the Papacy.) 

After the capture of Rome by the new Kingdom of Italy in 
1870, Italian Catholics were forbidden to participate In the 
political life of the new nation because of the kingdom's seizure 
of the Papal States. Pius IX and Leo XIII tried to bring about 
the internal disintegration of the kingdom by directing non- 


co-operation for all Catholics, and all those who had taken part 
in the seizure of papal property were excommunicated, even the 
members of the new parliament. But the electoral boycott in- 
jured the Papacy more than the Italian government, and the 
popes finally retreated in some disorder, permitting Italian Catho- 
lics to participate in the national elections. 6 

After World War I, the Vatican under Benedict XV adopted 
an openly political line and entered politics in earnest, not only 
in Italy but also in Germany and Belgium. The Vatican had 
Already entered politics in Catholic Austria under the leadership 
of Monsignor Ignatz Seipel and his bitterly anti-Socialist Catholic 
Parity. Its greatest success there was scored in 1933 and 1934 
whcpn the nation became a clerical-fascist state under Engelbert 
Do|tifuss and his Fatherland Front. His monolithic regime was 
treated by the continental Catholic press with respect and ad- 
miiyation as a model of Catholicism in politics, but its resemblance 
to I'Mussolini's regime greatly embarrassed British and American 
Catholics who were attempting to prove to their compatriots at 
thato time that the Vatican was not pro-fascist. 

Although the first Catholic ventures into European parlia- 
mentLj^ry politics ended in reactionary and anti-democratic move- 
ment s, new Catholic parties with bold democratic slogans began 
to blossom and prosper in Europe after World War II. A little 
pr^obing into the sources of strength of some of these parties would 
>iiave revealed the fact that the same classes and individuals 
which had supported fascism had quietly moved over into the 
Catholic camp; but post-war Europe was so alarmed about the 
rising menace of Communism that it did not care to notice such 

Today the Vatican partially controls at least seven unofficial 
Catholic parties in Europe, and participates indirectly through 
these parties in the governments of Italy, France, West Germany, 
Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. In each one of 
these countries, except France, the Catholic party is far stronger 
than the Communist Party. In 1949 the Catholic Register 
boasted that there was a Catholic premier or vice premier in 
Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the 
Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, France, and West Germany. 7 

What do these parties look like? We can take the time only 
for a glance at their present position. 


In Belgium the Christian Social (Catholic) Party has held a 
majority in both houses of parliament since June 1950, when 
it swept into power in a national referendum on the monarchy. 
Since then the party has developed many conflicting internal 
tensions, and its continuance in power is doubtful. 

In France the M.R.P. (Mouvement Republicain Populaire), 
which was born out of Catholic Action, has held a key place in 
the government for many years. Although it has only 24 per 
cent of the seats in the French National Assembly, it has placed 
such good Catholics as Georges Bidault and Robert Schuman 
in the premiership and the foreign office, and it continues to 
be the most powerful policy-making force in the government coa- 
lition. It has deliberately imitated the organization techniques 
of the Communist Party, with a centralized machine, training 
schools for its workers, and branches in all the villages and towns; 
and it has drawn heavily for strength on the Catholic counterparts 
of Communist labor and farm cells respectively, the Jocists 
and the Jacists. 8 Meanwhile, the Vatican has a possible second- 
string Catholic party in General De Gaulle's R.P.F. (Rassemble- 
rnent du Peuple Fran?ais), which follows a strong anti-Com- 
munist and pro-Catholic policy. 

In Portugal, Premier Salazar's monolithic, one-party state is 
essentially a clerical-fascist state in which the Catholic hierarchy 
co-operates with the dictatorship in return for a privileged posi- 
tion in the national life. The dictator himself is popularly called 
"the little priest." His National Union Party, which has been 
unopposed for eighteen years, has the unofficial blessing of the 
hierarchy, and it reciprocates by supporting Church supervision 
of religious education in the public schools, the prohibition of 
divorce, and the full recognition of the Catholic canon law on 

In Italy the strongest Catholic party in Europe, the Christian 
Democrat Party, holds an over-all majority in the Chamber of 
Deputies and completely dominates the government of Premier 
Alcide de Gasperi. Although the party has made Italy into a 
confessional state with Catholicism as the state religion, financial 
support for the clergy, local domination by bishops, and the 
recognition of Catholic marriage law, its hold on the Italian 
masses is distinctly precarious. It polled only 48.7 per cent of 
the popular vote at the 1 948 national election after a campaign 


in which the nation was thoroughly alarmed about Communist 
conquest, and after both the Vatican and the United States had 
thrown immense resources into the struggle. 

In the Netherlands, although the Catholic bloc in the popula- 
tion is less than 40 per cent, the Catholic Party is the largest 
single party in the state, polling 32 per cent of the votes at the 
last national election and capturing 8 of the 15 seats in the 
government's coalition cabinet. The party has already won its 
major financial objectives. 

In West Germany, where the Catholic and non-Catholic popu- 
lation is about evenly divided, the chief political party, the 
Christian Democratic Union, is overwhelmingly Catholic in 
composition and its Catholic representatives in the Bundestag 
outnumber its Protestant representatives more than 2 to 1 . The 
reshuffling of boundary lines in Germany as a result of World 
War II and of the post-war agreements made West Germany into 
a virtually Catholic, rather than Protestant, . state. "The West 
German state," says the British journalist, Basil Davidson, "is in 
the most practical sense a Catholic base in Europe, in every way 
as self-conscious and proselytizing as, for instance, Franco's 
Spain." 9 The Prime Minister, Konrad Adenauer,- is a Catholic, 
and the party although it includes many Protestants stands 
for an essentially Catholic program in education. 

Franco's Spain, the most Catholic country in the world, is a 
clerical-fascist police state in which the Catholic hierarchy co- 
operates passively in the suppression of all free political activity. 
No political opposition has been permitted since the fascist revo- 
lution. Franco, according to the Law of Succession which was 
adopted by a fake "referendum" in 1947, heads the Council of 
the Kingdom, which also includes the Cardinal Primate of the 
Church. The Minister of State is a former head of Catholic 
Action, and the Church chooses the Minister of Education. The 
one recognized political party under Franco is the Falange, which 
prescribes a fascist uniform and which has written into its twenty- 
six-point program the two following points: 

Our state will be a totalitarian instrument in the service of national 
integrity. . . . Political parties are to be abolished. 

Our movement will incorporate the Catholic spirit in the national re- 


"Of the elements supporting Generalissimo Franco," says Cyrus 
L. Sulzberger, chief foreign correspondent of the New York 
Times, "by all means the most important in terms of political and 
cultural impact is the Roman Catholic Church in Spain." 10 

This running sketch of seven Catholic political parties in 
Europe does not cover the many situations throughout the world 
where Catholic power expresses itself in blocs, coalitions, and 
pressure groups within other political parties, nor does it touch 
upon the great political activities of the Church in the iron-curtain 
countries or in Catholic regions like Argentina and Quebec. 

A Catholic International? 

The question which many observers are asking about this 
Catholic political development is: Will such Catholic political 
parties be amalgamated and fused into a Catholic international 
to parallel the Cominform and dominate western European poli- 

The answer must be very tentative. In the past the Vatican 
has been extremely cautious about forming any political inter- 
national because of the fear that such an organization might 
get out of hand. The Sicilian priest, Don Sturzo, who headed 
the Catholic Popular Party of Italy before Mussolini came into 
power, attempted to form a "white international," but his plans 
were rejected by Pius XL The present Pope seems somewhat 
more receptive to the idea, and new moves toward a rightist inter- 
national have recently been made. At least three European-wide 
conferences of Catholic parties have been held since 1947. The 
cohesive force in the new movement is anti-Communism and 
anti-Socialism, with Catholicism as background and atmos- 

With the partial backing of more than 100,000,000 Catholics 
in western Europe,, the Catholic parties are already co-operating 
to make the Council of Europe into an anti-Socialist force, and 
that is one reason why the British Labor Party is reluctant to 
surrender any national sovereignty to a European coalition. The 
Vatican must move with special caution because the democratic 
Catholic parties in France, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands 
refuse to have anything to do with the Catholic parties of the 


Spanish and Portuguese dictators, and the Pope cannot be placed 
in the position of seeming to oppose his two prize Catholic coun- 
tries. The Vatican may choose to co-operate with totalitarian 
regimes, but no Catholic politician in a European democracy can 
afford to co-operate if he wants labor votes. So Franco and Sala- 
zar must remain outside of the Catholic alliance for the time 

The tentative groundwork for a Catholic international in 
Europe without Spain and Portugal has been laid in Paris, 
and modest offices have been opened in the headquarters of the 
M.R.P. under the name of Nouvelles Equipes Internationales, 
which means a team or clearing house. With official support from 
the Catholic parties in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the 
Netherlands, the Saar, Luxemburg, and Switzerland, and per- 
sonal support from Catholic political leaders in France, Belgium, 
and Great Britain, as well as the backing of six exiled parties 
from eastern Europe, the new international is, to put it mildly, 
promising. Premier de Gasperi, in speaking to an international 
conference of the organization in Sorrento in April 1950, called 
upon it to formulate "plans for an over-all Christian policy" 
throughout Europe. 11 Thus far no detailed general program has 

What are the tactics and political policies which such a Catho- 
lic international can support? 

It is possible to make certain generalizations after observing 
the Catholic political parties in action in Europe. The first 
generalization is that every Catholic party must represent certain 
basic Vatican objectives or it will not get Vatican support. 
Those objectives must always include opposition to the Kremlin, 
and the securing of public money for Catholic schools. A politi- 
cal party which stands for these two Vatican demands may have 
a wide latitude of choice concerning all other planks in its plat- 
from and still win the support of local priests with Vatican ap- 
proval. It may be Socialist the Catholic party of Bavaria is 
still called the Christian Socialist Party or capitalist or mon- 
archist or fascist (like Salazar's and Franco's parties), but the 
Vatican will not repudiate it if it serves as an instrument of oppo- 
sition to the arch-enemy, and if it helps the Church to secure 
public funds. Self-interest is the Vatican's primary motive for 


being in politics, and in practical operation it is as consistent in 
pursuing that end as Tammany Hall. 

In view of the present drift toward democracy as a form of 
government, the Vatican is now tolerating democratic govern- 
ments with more charity than in the past; but its tolerance is 
instantly changed to hostility if a democracy opposes any special 
interest of the Church. Gabriel Almond of Yale University, in a 
significant study, "The Christian Parties of Western Europe," 
says that the Vatican "supports democratic governments and 
democratic parties when such a policy will protect or enhance 
the position of the Church. It will withdraw its support when 
democratic institutions seem to be seriously threatening Church 
interests, or when they prove to be too weak a reed on which to 
rest its fate." 12 Mr. Almond, after analyzing the activities of 
the Catholic parties of Europe, reaches this conclusion: "It is 
probable that the majority of the voters of these parties are not 
democrats by conviction, but this is not to say that they are con- 
vinced anti-democrats." The parties contain authoritarian ele- 
ments which are ready to carry Europe back to fascism if a crisis 
gives them the opportunity. They are particularly strong in the 
rural areas of Italy, Belgium, and Germany, where, as Mr. 
Almond points out, "the Christian party organization is often 
indistinguishable from the Church apparatus. One may pass 
from Church to Catholic Action to Christian party and still be 
under the same roof and surrounded by the same faces." 

Ideally, every Catholic party must support the whole Vatican 
political program. If it gains power, it must abolish divorce, pro- 
hibit birth control, recognize the Church as the sole state religion, 
suppress criticism of the Pope, prevent public Protestant cere- 
monies, ban all books which are on the Catholic Index, and pay 
the salaries of priests. But only completely Catholic nations such 
as Spain and Portugal ever go this far, and such extreme demands 
are never heard of in the Catholic political movements of nations 
like France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In such countries 
the Catholic political parties and blocs shrewdly limit their de- 
mands to the feasible and the practical. In economic matters 
they are often as liberal as the Socialists, but they always attempt 
to prevent Socialist domination of a government. 

There is something rather grimly humorous in the Church's 


acceptance of alliances with Socialists in France, Belgium, and 
the Netherlands in order to defeat Communist power more effec- 
tively, since many popes have declared that no good Catholic can 
be a good Socialist. To justify this co-operation the Vatican has 
evolved a formula which divides socialism into two varieties, 
the materialist kind and the humane or Christian variety. Marx 
and his materialistic philosophy are still anathema, but all other 
brands are acceptable if not commendable, especially if they 
acknowledge the vague and sentimental contributions of Leo 
XIII and Pius XI to the literature of reform. The Catholic 
bishops of West Germany in 1949 actually endorsed the "Chris- 
tian doctrine of socialism, as the Popes have demanded for so 
long." 13 

One fundamental stratagem is always apparent in the Vatican's 
support of a Catholic party. The support must never be official, 
and the connection between the party and the Church must never 
be too evident. "The Church stands above all political parties." 
That is the doctrine for public consumption, and the reason for 
it is quite obvious. A defeated political party might drag the 
Vatican down with it. If the connection between the Catholic 
party and the Vatican remains unofficial, the Holy See can always 
blame its shortcomings on human weakness. It can always main- 
tain the fiction that it is a non-partisan organization. It at- 
tempted to maintain this fiction even in the middle of its intense 
campaign for Christian Democrat victory in Italy in 1948, when 
almost the whole energies of the Italian priesthood were diverted 
to political effort and when "God's own loudspeaker," Father 
Riccardo Lombardi, was arousing huge audiences to white-hot 
passion against the leftist forces. 

This desire to avoid direct responsibility for political disaster 
explains why the Church also frowns on the political leadership 
of priests. When a party is led by a priest, it is difficult for the 
Vatican to defend its claim that the Church is above partisanship. 
The Catholic Popular Party which developed in Italy after World 
War I, and which seemed for a time to be the most logical barrier 
against Mussolini, was jettisoned for a good price by Pius XI 
partly because its leadership by the Sicilian priest, Don Sturzo, 
made it seem too official an instrument. The Pope forced Don 
Sturzo to resign partly because of this fact and partly because 


he decided at that moment to back Mussolini against the Italian 
Socialists. So he publicly reminded all Italian Catholics that it 
was against the moral law to make an alliance with Socialists. 
Since the Socialists were indispensable for any alliance that could 
defeat Mussolini, the Pope's action opened the door to fascist 
power. Pius XI, incidentally, betrayed the Catholic political 
movements of both Germany and Austria to dictatorships in a 
similar manner because he was fundamentally hostile to democ- 
racy. 14 

The wisdom of the Vatican's opposition to priests as statesmen 
was underscored during World War II when Monsignor Josef 
Tiso served from 1939 to 1945 as head of the Catholic-fascist 
state of Slovakia under Hitler's domination. Perhaps if the Axis 
powers had won the war, Tiso would have been described in 
the Catholic textbooks as a reasonably respectable statesman. He 
had never lost his standing as a priest and had never been repu- 
diated by the Vatican publicly; in fact, he had received an Apos- 
tolic Benediction from Pius XII in December 1939. 15 It was, 
therefore, embarrassing for the Vatican when he was convicted of 
collaborating with Hitler in the deportation and murder of Jews, 
and was promptly hanged. 

The Vatican controls its political parties by devices which are 
less formal than the devices used for political control by the 
Kremlin. There is no formal bureau for Catholic political parties 
in the Vatican set-up, and no official political platform. All 
clerical advice on all levels is given privately, except in a crisis. 
Each local bishop acts as a political agent for the Vatican, and 
supports, ignores, or opposes a Catholic party according to 
Vatican directives. The Vatican can destroy any Catholic politi- 
cal party in Europe in a few weeks by directing all bishops to 
order all local priests to advise their parishioners to leave the 
organization. This veto power on all Catholic parties makes the 
leaders completely obedient to the bishops whenever the bishops 
care to exercise their authority. 

The Vatican's lay device for controlling a Catholic political 
party is its own world-wide lay organization, Catholic Action. 
This mass propaganda organization can never slip from Vatican 
control because it is organized hierarchically by dioceses and 
parishes and works under the direct supervision of the ap~ 


propriate bishop or priest. In the United States it is not openly 
political at the present time because the Vatican is not ready for 
the formation of a Catholic party in America; but in countries 
like Italy it is the "most powerful political mass movement in the 
nation, with the possible exception of the Communist Party. It 
was the primary force in winning the Italian election of 1948, 
and it continues today to be the strong inner core in the Christian 
Democrat Party, pushing it to the right and making its policies 
more uncompromising. 

Catholic Action uses very solemn theological terms in describ- 
ing itself as non-political, but its practices in many parts of Europe 
are almost as openly partisan as those of a political party. "It is 
non-political," says the Irish Catholic scholar, Professor D. A. 
Binchy, "only in the sense that the Catholic Church claims to 
be non-political; that is, it must take no part as an organization 
in public affairs of a purely secular nature. On the other hand in 
all 'mixed matters,' where Church and State claim concurrent 
jurisdiction, it must be prepared to support the Church's claims 
in the event of a dispute; still more if the State should encroach 
on the Church's domain or adopt any policy opposed to the tradi- 
tional Christian principles of morality and government." 16 Since 
the Pope alone in the Catholic system of power has the right to 
define "traditional Christian principles of morality and govern- 
ment," he can use Catholic Action to support any policy which 
he so defines. 

American Catholics know very little about the political phases 
of European Catholic power, and in the American Catholic press 
political Catholicism in Europe is represented simply as the 
Church's crusade to preserve the Faith against Communism. 
Here, for example, is a typical question and answer in the 
Catholic Register of Denver which emphasizes "atheistic Com- 
munism" as an issue: 

Are pastors of Catholic churches permitted to Instruct their people how 
and for whom to vote? 

If the result of the election can have no evil effect on right faith or 
good morals, the pastor should not use the pulpit to discuss politics, 
though he may, as a private citizen, voice his views on the election outside 
the pulpit. If, however, the issue at stake in the election is one of vital 
importance to faith and morals, such as the diffusion of atheistic Com- 
munism, the pastor certainly has the right to present the facts before the 


people; moreover, he should do so, since he is the flock's guide in moral 
matters. 17 

There are very few important issues in modern politics which 
a priest cannot interpret as "of vital importance to faith and 
morals," and in European politics in recent years the leading 
priests in almost all countries which have Catholic parties have 
managed to announce their interpretations of faith and morals 
in striking fashion just before election time in such a way as to 
affect the result at the polls. Their appeals in each case have 
been strictly limited to the standard objectives of Catholic power, 
but in effect they have gone far beyond the Church's moral pro- 
gram and swung Catholic support to reactionary blocs. After a 
pastoral letter from Catholic bishops, clearly supporting the 
Christian Democratic Union, had defeated the Socialist Party of 
West Germany in the 1949 election by influencing women's 
votes, Kurt Schumacher, leader of the Socialists, angrily de- 
nounced the Vatican as the "fifth occupation power" in Germany, 
and said: "We have the impression that they [the Church 
leaders] would like to make a second Spain in Germany." 18 

Mr. Schumacher was angry, and he undoubtedly overstated the 
case against Vatican political strategy, but in perspective there 
was a great deal of justice in what he said. The Vatican is in its 
very nature an occupying power, and when it enters politics in a 
country., the voters of that country are quite unable to determine 
its program. Moreover, although a Catholic party may begin 
with a progressive program, the inherent conservatism of the 
Church nearly always pushes it to the right, and it becomes inevi- 
tably the nesting ground for all the forces of economic and politi- 
cal reaction. This has been the sorry fate of almost all the 
Catholic parties of Europe since the "model" Catholic state of 
Austria under Dollfuss became an essentially fascist state in 
1933. The Anglican Archbishop of York expressed the appre- 
hensions of many western democrats about this counter-revolu- 
tionary tendency of Catholic politics when he said in 1947: 
"The Catholic parties on the Continent are at present progressive 
in their programs, but they are also the only rallying grounds for 
the reactionaries, and in the course of time there is danger that, 
once again, on the Continent, Catholicism will be identified with, 
reaction/' 19 


The Controlled Labor Union 

A London dispatch to American Catholic newspapers in De- 
cember 1949 said: "Catholic delegates to the conference of the 
newly formed International Confederation of Free Trade Unions 
here voted to form a World Federation of Catholic Trade 
Unionists." Behind this dispatch lay a whole story of Vatican 
penetration into the labor movements of many countries. 

To most non-Catholics such a dispatch would seem somewhat 
bizarre. They would naturally ask: Why Catholic labor unions? 
Why not Methodist or Jewish or Christian Science labor unions? 
The idea of religious divisions in the labor movement seems 
utterly repugnant to most British and American workingmen, 
including British and American Catholics. On the European 
Continent, however, the Vatican has long been active in building 
a labor movement of its own in exactly the way that it has built 
school systems of its own. For many years it failed to make sub- 
stantial progress with this program, but recently it has gained 
new strength from the increasing fear of Communist aggression. 
It has asserted the theory that the Catholic labor union is the 
most effective competing force against Communism in any labor 
crisis, and by emphasizing this gospel it has succeeded in building 
labor organizations which claim more than three million members 
in European countries. 

The complete story of the Vatican's attempt to penetrate the 
world labor movement is too long to tell here, but the high points 
are as follows. The nineteenth-century Church in Europe tended 
to be hostile to the rising power of organized labor because of 
the Vatican's traditional alliances with upper-class groups. When 
political socialism and industrial unionism began to conquer 
Europe simultaneously, the Vatican found itself increasingly on 
the defensive. Leo XIII saw the necessity of a change in policy 
if the Church was to hold the loyalty of the Catholic masses, 
and in his famous encyclical Rerum Novarum, in 1891, he 
effected a strategic about-face in the Catholic philosophy of labor 
by endorsing the principle of "workingmen's unions." The en- 
cyclical was a vague and sentimental appeal for justice for the 
workingman, which the Catholic liberals have tried vainly to 
inflate into a comprehensive bill of economic rights; but it had 
the great virtue of releasing the humane forces in the Church 


from bondage to reaction and prejudice. It was so vague that 
its arguments could be successfully used for benevolent socialism 
or benevolent fascism; and forty years later Pius XI in another 
famous encyclical on labor actually did make use of Leo XIII's 
pronouncements in supporting the principles of the fascist cor- 
porate state. 20 

Most of the early labor unions of Europe were predominantly 
Socialist. The assertion of the rights of labor in a capitalist society 
was closely tied up with the assertion of the ultimate ideal of So- 
cialism, the taking over of industry by a workers' state. Although 
the Socialist movement was not fundamentally anti-religious in 
the larger meaning of that term, it was strongly anti-clerical 
not only because of the Church's alliances with the upper classes 
but because labor leaders had come to regard the Church as an 
enemy of progress and science. The Vatican, fearful of the rising 
power of Socialist labor, decided that it must form an opposition 
labor movement of its own. A beginning was made in the 1 890's, 
and in 1920 an International Federation of Christian Trade 
Unions was launched at The Hague. Now it is called the C.I.S.C. 
(Confederation Internationale des Syndicats Chretiens), and in 
the autumn of 1950 its international officers at Utrecht claimed 
that it had 3,27 1 ,000 members, mostly in France, Belgium, Italy, 
the Netherlands, and Ireland. It has no strength in the United 
States, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, and the Scandinavian 
countries, and of course it has no branches in the east European 
countries of the Soviet orbit. In several of these countries, how- 
ever, there are associations of individual Catholic trade unionists, 
serving as anti-Communist cells inside non-Catholic unions, and 
the C.I.S.C. claims more than a million of these individual 
Catholic unionists to reach its estimated total. 

Wherever possible, the Vatican uses Catholic unions for its 
own purposes for a Catholic monarchy in Belgium, for the 
defeat of the Communist-dominated C.G.T. in France, for the 
strengthening of Catholic schools in the Netherlands. But it has 
never beea as successful in the labor movement as it has been in 
politics. When the non-Catholic unions of the world met in Lon- 
don in December 1949 to form a world democratic labor front 
against the Kremlin, the Vatican was cold-shouldered. The non- 
Catholic and many of the Catholic delegates wanted a single 


non-Communist federation of world labor to oppose the Com- 
munist-dominated W.F.T.U. (see Chapter 11) which they had 
left, but the Catholic C.I.S.C. earned the deep resentment of the 
delegates by holding out for the continuation of its own separate 
international federation of Catholic unions. Most of the labor 
leaders of the west, including the foremost Catholic leaders of 
American labor, objected strenuously to such a division along 
religious lines. 

Now the labor organizations of the United States, Great Brit- 
ain, and the continental countries of western Europe are united 
in a new labor international with the name International Confed- 
eration of Free Trade Unions; but the Catholic unions are out- 
side. They were invited to join the new I.C.F.T.U. on a free and 
equal basis with all other unions, but it was stipulated in the 
invitation that their Catholic international must cease to exist 
within two years, and they refused to accept the stipulation. 

The decision for separation was not popular even in the Ameri- 
can Catholic press, because it revealed the narrow denomina- 
tionalism of Vatican labor policy. Even in Italy there was much 
opposition in Catholic circles to a denominational policy, and 
the newly formed anti-Communist labor federation of that coun- 
try, the C.S.I.L., decided to join the International Confederation 
of Free Trade Unions instead of the Catholic international. Never- 
theless the C.I.S.C. still has enough power in several countries of 
Europe to divide the ranks of democratic labor effectively. In 
both Belgium and the Netherlands the Catholic unions are only a 
little below the regular, neutral unions in numerical strength, and 
they have majority control in several key industries. In France 
they are probably second in strength to the Communist-dominated 
C.G.T., and slightly ahead of the non-Communist Force Ouv- 
riere. It is true that in France the Catholic unions are relatively 
progressive and independent, and they resent the clerical policy 
of labor which the Vatican is now supporting. Some of their 
leaders would welcome affiliation with the new non-confessional 
I.C.F.T.U. if they could overcome the objections of their bishops. 

In the Netherlands, however, the Catholic hierarchy is fighting 
desperately to maintain the power of its own labor bloc, and it 
has brought up its heaviest theological artillery for the battle, In 
an edict read from all Catholic pulpits in 1946, and since repeat- 


edly confirmed, the bishops have announced that Catholics who 
join the regular, non-religious federation of labor, the N.V.V., 
may be denied absolution in the confessional for such a sinful 
act. 21 The N.V.V. is not a Communist organization in fact, 
it is quite definitely anti-Communist and there is a Communist 
rival in the field but the Catholic hierarchy is unwilling to lose 
its hold over the Dutch Catholic workers by leaving them free to 
decide the question of labor affiliation for themselves. It even 
carries its narrow rule of separatism to the grave. In 1949, when 
the body of an N.V.V. railroad worker in Heerlen was being 
taken to a Catholic cemetery for burial, the flower car in his 
funeral cortege, containing a large wreath from the N.V.V., was 
stopped two hundred yards from the cemetery on orders of the 
Catholic authorities, and the tainted wreath was removed. 22 

It was the fear of such denominational bitterness which led 
the new free federation of non-Communist labor to reject for 
itself all religious classifications. At its organizing conference in 
London in 1949, Miss Maniben Kara of India gave the reply of 
democratic labor to denominational narrowness in a simple and 
moving appeal: 

At the outset I must make it absolutely clear that I have nothing against 
Christians. I think they are good, honest and sincere citizens. I make my 
objection only because I think that no trade union organisation should 
be mixed up with any religion. On this ground I personally would not 
like to lay down a precedent which this Assembly later on will find it 
extremely difficult to adopt. I understand that the Christian Catholic 
trade union organisations have to take their dictation, to some extent, 
from their own churches. To that extent I believe that those trade union 
organisations are not absolutely free or democratic because it is not the 
will of the constituents of those organisations which really counts inas- 
much as they have to depend upon an outside authority, I for one would 
very much like to see this International grow up into a strong organisation 
which will be free from any outside influences, except from those of the 
working classes. If we accept that as a principle I cannot understand how 
this Assembly can recommend the inclusion of any sect of people who 
owe allegiance to any outside influence other than their constituent mem- 
bers. . * . " 

If we allow the admission of trade unions based on religion, you will not 
be able to shut the door against Hindu trade unions, Moslem trade unions, 
Arab trade unions and various other trade unions which would come 
for affiliation before this gathering. We are living in the days of civilisa- 
tion; we are going ahead; national boundaries are receding in the back- 


ground. We are thinking in the terms of international politics. We are 
thinking in the terms of one world, and in that atmosphere we cannot pos- 
sibly narrow down the scope of the Conference by having among us, or by 
admitting, those people who want to have a sectarian outlook. 23 

The Vatican is not moved by such an appeal because it is 
confident of its own special mission as adviser and guide for 
organized labor, and it has developed special agencies for this 
guidance throughout the world. Wherever possible it continues 
to support separate Catholic labor movements with priest-advisers 
for every branch; and in every situation where labor separatism 
is not practical, it promotes its two agencies of labor penetration 
into non-Catholic unions, the A.C.T.U.'s and the Jocists. The 
Jocists are the Young Christian Workers under twenty-five 
years of age and unmarried who use the cell technique for 
penetration. They claimed fifty operating cells in thirty major 
cities in the United States in 1948. 24 The A.C.T.U. (Association 
of Catholic Trade Unionists) in the United States is a typical 
instrument for adult penetration of non-Catholic labor organiza- 
tions. It consists of Catholic devotees who are economic liberals 
and who work under priestly direction inside American labor 
unions as a kind of union within a union, attempting to swing 
the policies of the larger organization toward the Catholic posi- 
tion. In spite of much fanfare in the American and the Catholic 
press, the A.C.T.U. has never been of much importance in the 
American labor movement. It has had a maximum membership 
of 5,000 in a national labor union membership of nearly sixteen 
million. American workers deeply resent any attempt to bring 
denominational divisions into the labor movement. Not a single 
important labor leader in the United States supports A.C.T.U. 
vigorously, and many Catholic labor leaders openly condemn it. 
The reason for the condemnation is obvious the organization 
in spite of its professions of helpfulness is actually creating a dual 
authority in the labor world, outside the unions themselves. 
Article VII of the constitution of A.C.T.U.'s Detroit branch ac- 
curately reflects its spirit: 

In the event of insoluble dispute over any question of policy, tactics, 
principle or leadership, the counsel of the Most Rev. Archbishop shall be 
the final determinant. 525 


Conquest by Fecundity 

Perhaps the most important factor in the penetration of Catho- 
lic power into non-Catholic territory today is a phenomenon 
which is almost never discussed frankly in public, the stimulated 
Catholic birthrate. Although it is impossible to prove by scientific 
statistics, it seems certain that the orthodox Catholic blocs in the 
western democracies are outbreeding the non-Catholic blocs by 
a considerable margin. Catholic priests are tireless missionaries 
for large families, and they are much more successful in increas- 
ing the number of Catholic souls by this gospel than by the 
process of conversion. 

They threaten married couples with perdition for the practice 
of contraception, and simultaneously preach the doctrine that 
no Catholic spouse has the moral right to refuse sexual inter- 
course in marriage except for grave reasons and the reasons 
do not include extreme poverty. "When it is needful to speak of 
it," says the Homiletic and Pastoral Review in advising priests 
concerning their duty to impart sound sexual teaching in the con- 
fessional, "let him [the priest] rather show that a married person 
has the obligation of returning the debitum at any time that the 
partner demands it, unless he or she be excused for grave rea- 

This teaching, based on the theory that the production of new 
Catholic souls is a good thing in itself, when accompanied by 
the pressure of the priests against mixed marriages, tends to make 
the Catholic group in a non-Catholic community into a distinct 
biological bloc, outbreeding its competitors and gaining power 
proportionately at their expense. In European Catholic political 
campaigns the party leaders consider large families an important 
advertisement of their loyalty to Catholic principles, Belgian 
Catholic leaders have boasted of the fact that the three top leaders 
of the regular labor union federation have only one child among 
them whereas the three top leaders of the Catholic labor federa- 
tion have twenty-six! When the Catholic M.R.P. was campaigning 
for an increased parliamentary representation in France after 
World War IT, its statisticians, according to Gordon Wright, 
"proved that the M.R.P. deputies averaged 2.8 children apiece, 
whereas the Socialists could boast only a 1.6 average, and the 
Communists 1.3, No other party, observed the M.R.P., included 


a deputy with 13 children and four others with 10 each." 26 

Canada is rapidly becoming a Catholic nation because of this 
policy, and northern New England is being transformed by the 
Catholic overflow from Canada. French Catholic Canada is 
winning what the French Canadians call la revanche des her- 
ceaux, the revenge of the cradles. In this type of biological pene- 
tration and conquest, the Kremlin is a very poor second to the 

The American Answer 

THE TWO PATTERNS OF POWER which I have discussed in the 
preceding chapters are as alike as the two poles of the earth, 
They occupy the opposite extremes of our moral universe but 
they represent the same type of intellectual climate, the climate 
of authoritarian rule over the human mind. 

The contrasts between them are self-evident, and the battle 
between them is one of the irrepressible conflicts of our time. 
One is fighting on our side in the east- west struggle, and the 
other is fighting against us. One is a messenger of personal 
gentleness and love; the other represents ruthlessness and force. 
One respects the traditions and values of our economic society; 
the other insists on complete economic and political revolution. 
One teaches faith in a personal God and hope for personal im- 
mortality; the other is hostile to all the central tenets of orthodox 

But these contrasts represent differences in aim and purpose, 
or differences in temporary alignment, not differences in the 
permanent politics of power. As institutions in this world, the 
Kremlin and the Vatican are far more conspicuous in their simi- 
larities than their differences. It will pay to look back briefly over 
the areas I have discussed in this book and draw up a balance 
sheet of Vatican and Kremlin methods: 

The Balance Sheet of Methods 

How do the two institutions compare in the structure of power? 

The Vatican is controlled by an official dictator, the Pope; 

the Kremlin is controlled by an unofficial but equally absolute 

dictator, Joseph Stalin. Neither permits any opposition party 



to form inside his organization. The dictator of the Vatican is 
infallible in all matters of faith and morals, and he has the extraor- 
dinary advantage of being able to say what faith and morals 
are. The dictator of the Kremlin makes no claim to personal 
infallibility, but his power to determine what is right and wrong in 
the Communist world is approximately equal to that of the Pope 
in the "Catholic world. 

The dictator of the Vatican is not chosen directly or indirectly 
by democratic process, since the cardinals who appoint him 
are themselves appointed princes, and their appointment is not 
ratified by the Catholic people, The dictator of the Kremlin is 
chosen and ratified by semi-popular agencies, but the election 
and the ratification are all controlled by techniques of exclusion, 
monopoly, and terror which make a mockery of every democratic 
pretense. The Pope's policies are completely undemocratic in 
their origin and sanction, since they are not determined or rati- 
fied by any group or agency representing the Catholic people; 
even the Vatican's constitutions and laws are all imposed upon 
the Catholic people by fiat, and they contain no bill of rights 
guaranteeing to Catholics as citizens freedom of thought or speech 
in their own organization. The Kremlin constitution and laws 
are nominally sanctioned by popularly elected bodies of voters, 
and they contain an elaborate bill of rights, but in practice the 
guaranties are set aside at will by the Kremlin dictatorship. 

In the Kremlin system of power all adults have the right to 
vote, but they must not organize an opposition party for which 
to vote. In the Vatican system of power all the people are dis- 
franchised, even priests in local councils if their bishops care to 
deny them the right to vote; no session of a General Council of 
the higher clergy has been called for more than eighty years. 
Below the top level, both dictatorships are run by committee 
systems in which the College of Cardinals corresponds to the 
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 
the resident (Italian) cardinals of the Roman Curia correspond 
to the Politburo, and the Vatican diplomats correspond to the 
regional agents of the Cominform. 

The theory of imperialist rights under which the two dictator- 
ships operate is essentially the same, but the territory claimed 
by the Vatican is much smaller than that claimed by the Kremlin. 


The Kremlin does not actually recognize the sovereignty of any 
capitalist nation as sacred, since it operates within each nation 
with the purpose of controlling that nation's life completely for 
Communism. The Vatican claims supreme imperial power within 
every nation over such areas as religion, morals, education, cen- 
sorship, and domestic relations, but it recognizes the limited 
sovereignty of civil governments over other vital areas such as 
military defense, public works, and the enforcement of criminal 
law. In carrying out its imperial policy the Kremlin's agency, 
the Cominform, imposes upon its national Communist parties 
obedience to the Kremlin in all matters of major policy, and the 
Vatican does likewise in ruling its own national churches. 

How do the two institutions compare in their methods of 

The pageantry of deification in the Vatican system is more 
ritualistic than that of the Kremlin, but in both systems the 
leaders the reigning Pope and Stalin are primary objects 
of continuous and contrived adulation. Admiration for both 
leaders shades into veneration, and veneration into worship. Al- 
though both organizations officially disclaim deification, all 
printed and spoken propaganda of both exalt their respective 
leaders as essentially divine. Glorified biographies and pictures 
of the two deified chieftains are used continuously to inflate the 
belief in their personal virtues, conceal personal deficiencies, 
and build up institutional obedience. Both the Pope and Stalin 
are sequestered from almost all normal contacts with the world, 
and presented to the public only in carefully managed theatrical 
appearances. The Vatican adds to its pageantry of deification 
an elaborate constellation of ecclesiastical saints who serve as 
minor and supporting deities for the papal heavenly court. 

How do the two institutions compare in thought control? 

Both the Kremlin and the Vatican stand officially for the 
education of the people in "freedom," but in practice both insti- 
tutions limit critical thought and speech. The Kremlin controls 
the dissemination of all information through press, radio, motion 
pictures, and books by the device of owning or controlling all 
business and cultural enterprises in its territory. The Vatican 


does not possess this power over whole nations but, through a 
system of internal controls, it rigidly censors the publication by 
Catholics of hostile attacks on any major doctrine or discipline 
of the Church, and it attempts to impose a similar system of 
censorship on non-Catholics through political and cultural pres- 
sure and legislation wherever it can marshal the requisite power. 
The Vatican makes the reading of any anti-Catholic work a mor- 
tal sin, and officially bans many great works of science and 
philosophy. The Kremlin does not officially impose such a prohi- 
bition, but it goes far beyond the Vatican in directing all Com- 
munist science, music, art, and literature into narrowly controlled 
Marxist channels. 

Both organizations use the school as a partisan weapon and 
oppose the neutral public school. The Kremlin completely 
directs the school systems in Communist countries, eliminates 
all hostile teachers and textbooks, and infuses every subject with 
Marxist-Stalinist partisanship. In Catholic countries the Vatican 
makes Catholicism a part of the public-school curriculum to 
the exclusion of all other faiths, and in non-Catholic countries 
it establishes a complete segregated school system, supporting it 
with theological coercion. 

How do the two institutions compare in discipline and de- 

Both the Vatican and the Kremlin rule their domains through 
a special class of elite and dedicated personalities, the priesthood 
(including nuns) and the members of the Communist Party. 
Both enforce the most rigid discipline upon their devotees, and 
cultivate blind loyalty as a virtue. The Vatican goes beyond 
the Kremlin in prohibiting all normal sex life among its elite 
and in exploiting the sense of sexual guilt in the young; but the 
Kremlin goes beyond the Vatican in extremes of torture and 
punishment. Both institutions attempt to prevent a drift to demo- 
cratic heresy by disciplining with unusual severity those Com- 
munists and Catholics who show sympathy with the nearest 
institutional competitors,, Socialism and Protestantism. 

How do the two institutions compare in the use of deceptive 


The Kremlin is the unchallenged champion of all time in the 
manufacture of the Big Lie. Its leaders hold that any deception 
is justified if it extends and maintains the revolution against 
bourgeois power. It systematically maligns all western accom- 
plishment and exalts all Russian achievement. The Vatican's 
relatively mild deceptions in the field of politics consist in eccle- 
siastical double talk about freedom and the separation of church 
and state. Both organizations occasionally profess to believe in 
the separation of church and state but neither practices this be- 
lief; in countries of the Soviet orbit the state interferes with the 
Church, and in countries of the Vatican orbit the Church inter- 
feres with the state. The masking of undemocratic policies by de- 
liberate misrepresentation and the exploitation of ignorant masses 
by fake medicine and fake science make the Vatican an instru- 
ment of profound moral corruption in many parts of the world. 

How do the Vatican and the Kremlin compare in the strategy 
of penetration? 

Both institutions use controlled political parties, controlled 
labor unions, and controlled social cells as instruments for cap- 
turing non-Catholic and non-Communist cultures. The Com- 
munist control of its parties, unions, and cells is more complete 
and more conspiratorial than that of the Vatican, but there is 
little to choose between the two networks as far as democracy is 
concerned. Both networks represent imperial dictatorships at- 
tempting to extend their power. The Kremlin supports its parties 
of penetration with armed invasion wherever feasible, while the 
Vatican does not. The Kremlin's conquered provinces center in 
eastern Europe; the Vatican's in western Europe apd Latin 
America. Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania are 
pri7,e exhibits of one class; Spain, Portugal, Quebec, and Ireland 
of the other* The Kremlin's two chief instruments of penetration 
into non-Communist countries, aside from the Communist parties 
themselves, arc the Cominform and the World Federation of 
Trade Unions, The Vatican's three corresponding instruments 
of penetration are Catholic Action, the relatively feeble federation 
of Catholic political parties known as the Nouvelles Equipes In- 
ternationales, and the CJ.S.C. In the United States the Church 
as a biological population bloc, and the Catholic school, are 


more powerful instruments of penetration than any correspond- 
ing instrument of the Kremlin. 

An American Policy 

In confronting these parallel forms of authoritarian power, is 
it possible to develop a dual American policy which is reasonable 
and balanced, a policy which avoids the extremes of hysterical 
anti-Communism and of dogmatic anti-Catholicism, and yet is 
consistently firm? 

It is hard to answer such a question briefly without appearing 
to be either pontifical or superficial or both, but brevity is neces- 
sary in such a summary. It seems to me that the basic elements 
of a consistent policy are more or less self-evident. It is bound 
to be a policy of constructive opposition to the political power 
and the authoritarian spirit of both the Vatican and the Kremlin, 
because they are totalitarian agencies whose aims and methods 
are incompatible with democratic ideals. Men who believe in 
government by consent of the governed, men who accept freedom 
of thought and freedom of information as the basic freedoms of 
democratic life, could scarcely be expected to view with favor 
two organizations which neither practice nor preach these free- 
doms in their own institutional life or in the nations which they 
completely conquer. We have a right as defenders of democracy 
to judge both the Kremlin and the Vatican by their products, 
and history shows us that the completely Catholic nation is no 
more democratic than the completely Communist nation. Tf we 
are asked to choose today between the Soviet Union and Catholic 
Spain, we will choose neither. 

The negative principle in a sound policy for dealing with the 
Vatican and the Kremlin can well be expressed in the conven- 
tional term "containment" containment of imperial power 
whether military or moral, containment of any force which is 
hostile to our freedoms. Democracy is inevitably bound by its 
own self-interest to attempt the limitation of both Vatican and 
Kremlin power to presently occupied territories because the two 
systems have been encroaching on the democratic way of life 
throughout the world. The encroachments, of course, have been 
strikingly different in kind and degree, but they challenge demo- 
cratic institutions unmistakably whether they take the form of a 


school system which teaches the gospel of restricted and anti- 
scientific thought, or of an invading military column. The threats 
in both cases are genuine threats to fundamental freedoms, and 
it seems clear that if we make peace with such institutions, it 
must be a peace of tolerance and not of approval. 

But containment is a negative concept, and if democracy is to 
survive against aggressive forms of totalitarianism, it should 
choose its own timetable and plot its own intellectual offensive. 
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" is the best expression 
of the goal and practice of our democratic offensive. A positive 
and living faith in democratic ways of thought must be reaffirmed, 
and subservience to authoritarian rule must be rejected if democ- 
racy is to survive in the modern world, and no cloak of religious 
piety or of perverted social idealism must be permitted to shield 
undemocratic institutions from the winds of democratic doctrine. 

In the light of such a formula the American answer to Com- 
munism offers few moral difficulties if anti-Communism is not 
carried to the extreme where freedom of thought is destroyed. 
Stalin has made anti-Communism a moral and intellectual neces- 
sity for free men by his tactics since the end of World War II. 
The sight of Korea, Berlin, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary (to 
mention only a few of the controlled and devastated areas) re- 
minds free Americans that, but for the grace of military might, 
there goes the United States. During the first twenty years of 
Soviet power, it appeared to many to be logical at times to excuse 
Communist tyranny on the plea that it was needed to destroy 
something worse, but that plea has lost all its force since the 
Kremlin has taken the field as the world's most rapidly expanding 
imperialist power. Now resistance is obligatory for all self- 
respecting men. We have two primary questions to ask: How 
can we honorably avoid war? If we cannot how, when, and 
where shall the issue be joined? 

The first itejn in a sound American policy for dealing with 
Communists would seem to be military preparedness, and the 
second, constructive work with money and technical knowledge 
to eliminate the inequality, race discrimination, and poverty 
which breed Communism as a stagnant pool breeds mosquitoes. 
If Communism springs from the soil of despair, the west cannot 
afford to abandon Marshall Plan aid, military assistance to 


Europe, or the broader program of Point Four funds for back- 
ward countries which are now a prey to Communist agitation. 
From the point of view of sheer economy, peacetime aid is likely 
to be far less expensive than wartime devastation. 

Common sense dictates that physical war should be delayed 
as long as possible and avoided even at the price of some compro- 
mise, because the weapons of war are now so destructive. When 
the issue is survival, men cannot afford to carry chips on their 
shoulders. Stalin might die; China might be incapacitated by a 
famine; the Politburo might recover a sense of proportion under 
pressure; there might be some Russian demands that could be 
honorably and fairly compromised. No false pride should keep 
us from making minor concessions when the survival of so many 
million lives is at stake. Moreover, we are outnumbered in the 
present alignment of world forces by Communism, perhaps as 
much as 3 to 1 , certainly as much as 2 to 1 , even if all of western 
Europe is counted on our side and not all of western Europe 
is on our side. An even more important fact is that under present 
circumstances it would be physically impossible for the western 
democracies to control and regulate a defeated Communist world. 
Even if World War III ended in a victory for the democracies 
(and it might not), the result could be an inundation of a large 
part of the globe in a Communist-dominated chaos which would 
be more difficult to master than the organized terror of Kremlin 

Such gloomy foreboding does not imply that we should shrink 
from the ultimate necessity of meeting the challenge of Com- 
munist power. We have put our hand to the task of organizing 
the world against aggression, and it is unthinkable that we should 
turn back after the sacrifices that have already been made. 

Meanwhile, it is a truism that if we are forced to fight and win 
a war of bombs, the victory will be wasted unless we also win the 
war of ideas. It is not possible permanently to rule and regulate 
half of the world's population by force. Men cannot permanently 
be kept from joining the ranks of the Communist movement by 
threatening them with extinction. They must be persuaded to 
join the community of free men by free choice, and they must 
continue to like their choice. They will continue to like their 
choice only if democracy can produce a better solution for the 


problems of modern society than any other social order can 
produce. Thus far western democracy has produced a higher 
standard of life and a higher level of human happiness than Com- 
munism, but it has not displayed that passionate interest in the 
poverty and insecurity of the common man that will guarantee 
continued supremacy. So long as millions of men are poor with- 
out commensurate fault, and thousands are rich without com- 
mensurate merit, democracy will be threatened by any competing 
social order which offers a more logical formula for social justice. 
Hence the battle of democracy against Communism should be 
viewed not merely as a defensive battle for present values but 
as a continuing competition for the good society. 

A Temperate Anti-Vatican Policy 

Opposition without hysteria to Vatican policy in the United 
States involves a very different set of values from anti-Com- 
munism. America is thoroughly aroused to the dangers of 
Communist power, and it is politically advantageous for dema- 
gogues to rival each other in outshouting the feeble voice of 
Communist propaganda. American Communism is so weak that 
it cannot elect a single congressman, senator, governor, mayor, 
or city councilman in the whole nation. Even Henry Wallace in 
the days of his unfortunate left-wing honeymoon, with all the 
prestige of a former Vice President, could not poll 3 per cent 
of the national vote. 

But Vatican power in America is pervasive and substantial, 
outnumbering Communist power in official membership by about 
490 to I, 1 and it is inextricably entangled with virtue and loyalty 
to moral values, with altruism and personal faith, and above all 
with the tradition of American freedom which protects both 
good and evil against attack if they happen to wear a religious 
label Can we cut through these protective traditions and in 
dealing with the Vatican arrive at a policy which is not based 
on hypocrisy or appeasement? I am not hopeful of an honest or 
reasonable solution, because Catholic power makes cowards of 
more men in public life than we like to think. 

Our first task is to break the current taboo against any frank 
discussion of the "Catholic question" and establish a free flow 
of ideas* Men should have the same right to speak without penal- 


ties on this issue that they have to speak on Communism. The 
pretense of the American Catholic hierarchy that every person 
who challenges its policies is per se "anti-Catholic" must be re- 
vealed as fraudulent nonsense. The further pretense that world 
Catholicism is only a religion and is therefore entitled to the 
conventional avoidance of religious argument must be dissected 
and destroyed with hard facts. From the point of view of western 
democracy, Catholicism is not merely a religion; it is also a for- 
eign government with a diplomatic corps; an agglomeration of 
right-wing clerical parties and fascist governments; a cultural 
imperialism controlling a world- wide system of schools; a me- 
dieval medical code with comprehensive rules for personal hy- 
giene; a network of clerical-dominated labor unions; a system 
of censorship of books, newspapers, films, and radio; and a 
hierarchy of marriage and annulment courts which compete with 
the courts of the people. Since all of these primarily non-devo- 
tional features of Catholic power affect the lives of non-Catholics 
as well as Catholics, it is right that they should be considered not 
merely as religion but as economics, politics, medicine, education, 
and diplomacy in other words, as an organic and vital part of 
democratic society. 

It is scarcely necessary to say that we have no excuse for sug- 
gesting that a single right of the Vatican in the United States be 
taken away. Nor must we permit the opposition to political 
Catholicism to degenerate into religious anti-Catholicism or per- 
sonal prejudice against individual Catholics. The best aid which 
political Catholicism has in this country today is the Ku Klux 
Klan, because fanatical anti-Catholicism can be used to divert 
attention from the fundamentally intol.erant policies of the Vati- 
can itself. The Roman Catholic hierarchy is rightly permitted 
under our Constitution to establish its competing school system, 
its separate marriage courts, and its organs of censorship, and 
it is unthinkable that the rights of the Vatican to establish and 
extend these institutions and practices should be curtailed in any 
way. But tolerance need not imply approval of such tactics, and 
the evidence justifies a policy of temperate and constructive oppo- 
sition. What form should that opposition take? 

In the international sphere, the Vatican's record should lead 
us to be wary of any alliance with Catholic parties or govern- 


ments, because those parties and governments have been too 
often the symbols and catch-alls of reactionary forces. We are 
likely to be judged in terms of the morality of our worst ally, 
and some of the allies of the Vatican are completely fascist. The 
Vatican itself, for example, has been for generations the greatest 
landholder in several European nations where land reform is the 
first requirement of social justice, 2 and in such nations we cannot 
afford to take sides with the landlord. Already our reputation 
in Europe is shockingly reactionary. We are known as an enemy 
of Socialism, and for the European masses Socialism is almost 
synonymous with social welfare. Whether we like it or not, we 
should be honest enough to admit what every trained observer 
of European politics knows that free enterprise has already 
been partially dethroned in Europe and that Communism cannot 
be defeated on that Continent without the aid of the middle-of- 
the-road Socialist movement. An American policy which ties us 
to a reactionary clerical bloc and to anti-Socialism is destined 
to defeat no matter how many billions in American relief go 
with it. As Adolf Berle, former Assistant Secretary of State, 
has pointed out: "Principles aside, the pragmatic results [in the 
European war against Communism] suggest indeed that the chief 
political instrument against Stalinist Communism is precisely 
support of the Socialist groups." But in practice the Vatican- 
controlled groups are the anti-Socialist groups as anti-Socialist 
as the Vatican dares to make them and too often they are 
groups which betray sympathy with fascism, without rebuke from 

When we support political Catholicism in Europe, no matter 
how sincerely, we identify ourselves with political reaction, and 
we cannot afford this kind of identification. Tt is not an accident 
that the two remaining fascist powers in Europe today are the 
leading Catholic powers and that their dictators continue to 
operate on fascist principles without excommunication. 

In fact, when all of its alliances and its political philosophy 
arc carefully considered, there is a real question whether the 
Vatican is a liability or an asset in democracy's war against Com- 
munism. Europe and Asia are engaged in a revolutionary process 
of transforming their ancient societies. On the revolutionary side 
in the struggle are forces of idealism and hope as well as forces 


of bitterness and hate. In the course of the long battle for social 
transformation the Vatican has become known as a counter- 
revolutionary force. Its reputation has not always been deserved, 
because many devout Catholic leaders are notably idealistic and 
would like to see their Church in the vanguard of every movement 
for intelligent social change. But, whether from choice or asso- 
ciation or the accident of history, the Vatican has become the 
spiritual core of the rightist bloc in the modem world, and it 
stands for the old order and the old values. Reactionaries of 
every stripe flock to the Vatican banner automatically and 
any democracy associated too closely with that banner is destined 
to lose the sympathy of the masses of people in both Europe 
and Asia. 

Aside from its reputation and its unfortunate associations, the 
Vatican also has the fatal defect of leaving its followers unpre- 
pared to meet the forces of Communism with free intelligence. 
Habitual, uncritical obedience to superior authority disqualifies 
men as fighters against Communism because it incapacitates their 
minds. The Vatican has cultivated in millions of men that 
authoritarian mind which leans for support on received dogma. 
That is the type of mind on which Stalin rests his vast domain, 
and it is not an accident that in many parts of Europe the passage 
of men from Catholicism to Communism has been so effortless. 
When the largest Communist party outside of the Soviet Union 
develops in the home country of the Vatican, and captures the 
devotion of millions of "Catholics," the moral cannot be ignored. 

The independent mind is the type of mind which spurns politi- 
cal Catholicism for the same reason that it spurns Communism 
because it recognizes in each an enemy of freedom. As Anthony 
Eden has pointed out, the nonconformist is "the one kind of man 
who invariably rejects Communism almost without a second 
thought. ... He is inherently against subjection to any hierarchy 
and spontaneously rejects all doctrines of infallibility. To him, 
democracy is a necessary form, of human dignity." :J 

There is another reason why our diplomacy should be dis- 
sociated from the Vatican's position in international affairs. We 
are not eager for an atomic Holy War even against the Kremlin. 
In spite of all the Pope's eloquent appeals for peace, the world- 
wide point of view of Catholicism on war with the Soviet Union 


and Communist China is more extreme than that of any other 
group. In the United States it has approximated hysteria. It has 
become an undisguised campaign for a Holy War, with all the 
emotional overtones of a devotional crusade. 

The Catholic senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, re- 
ceived wide acclaim in the American Catholic press when he 
staged in 1949 and 1950 a campaign of disgraceful vilification 
in which he indiscriminately lumped together honest anti-Com- 
munists, moderate progressives, loyal government employees, and 
Kremlin spies. His campaign probably did more to discredit 
American democracy in Europe than any event in American 
politics in recent years. The Catholic Secretary of the Navy, 
Francis P. Matthews, former Supreme Knight of the Knights of 
Columbus, shocked the nation in August 1950, when he openly 
advocated a preventive war against Russia and was rebuked by 
President Truman. Boston's diocesan Catholic paper, The Pilot, 
condoned his plea and pointed out that wars of offense might 
be as moral as wars of self-defense under certain circumstances. 4 

No one questions the right of the Catholic press to support such 
leaders as McCarthy and Matthews, but men who face the realities 
of atomic catastrophe do not relish the thought of their nation 
being pushed into war on a wave of religious fury. Nor do they 
want American policy influenced by a non-American agency 
like the Vatican which may have its special selfish interests at 
stake. They have not forgotten that until Pearl Harbor in 1941, 
when Vatican interests dictated a contrary point of view, the 
same pressure groups which are now so favorable to intervention 
in Europe were strenuously opposed to intervention against 

This inconsistency of attitude toward totalitarian regimes 
should help Americans to realize that the Vatican is motivated 
chiefly by self-interest. It has created an illusion of friendliness 
for democracy because its spokesmen have kept repeating over 
and over again, in one form or another, the spurious syllogism: 
The Church is fighting Communism; Communism is democratic 
A0ierica*s worst enemy; therefore the Church is the true defender 
of democratic America* But Andrei Visfainsky has "proved" that 
the Communist Party is the "most democratic" party by using 
the same syllogism* with variations, concerning Communism and 


fascism: "That party is the most democratic which fights most 
strongly against Fascism; the Communist party is the most un- 
compromising opponent of Fascism; therefore it is the most 
democratic party." 5 Surely, the first step in a realistic American 
policy is to expose such fallacies thoroughly, and to judge our 
enemies and friends on the basis of their actual records. 

The lack of a consistent American policy for dealing with the 
Vatican was never more clearly revealed than during the 1950-51 
discussions concerning the appointment of a possible successor 
to Myron Taylor as the President's personal representative at 
the Vatican. Mr. Taylor had resigned late in 1949 after ten 
years of service as a presidential envoy, serving at Rome without 
confirmation by the United States Senate because President 
Roosevelt had by-passed Senate approval. Mr. Taylor's equivocal 
status reflected the schizophrenic attitude of American politics 
toward the Vatican. Since our Constitution calls for the separa- 
tion of church and state and a policy of no discrimination among 
faiths, we have no moral right to send an ambassador to the 
Catholic Church as a church unless we also send an ambassador 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, 
and the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. But 
if the Roman Catholic Church is more than a church and it is 
by its own claim and definition then its policies in the United 
States should be subject to the same open criticism as the policies 
of any other foreign power. Any regulation or policy of the 
Vatican which encroaches upon the duties of American citizens 
to their country's laws and institutions should be opposed as con- 
sistently as any corresponding regulation or policy of the Kremlin. 

Perhaps the simplest way to arrive at the essentials of an 
American policy for dealing with the Vatican would be to ask: 
What would an American ambassador to the Pope demand of 
the Vatican if he spoke as frankly as our ambassadors to the 
Soviet Union now speak to Molotov or Stalin? He would 
naturally protest against all those regulations and rules of Catholi- 
cism which curtail or limit the free judgment of American 
Catholics as citizens. He would insist that 110 outside power 
should attempt to tell American voters how to decide any Ameri- 
can political issue, especially when the outside organization 


gives its members no participating rights in arriving at the de- 

To make such principles concrete, an American representative 
to the Vatican might begin with three immediate demands that 
the Vatican cancel for the United States its rule against Catholic 
attendance at public schools; that the Vatican grant to all Catho- 
lic Americans the moral right to study both sides of every social 
question, including material critical of Catholic policy; and that 
the Vatican recognize American marriage and divorce as valid. 

In all the three areas covered by these demands, present Vati- 
can policy is fundamentally un-American and constitutes a direct 
threat to responsible citizenship. All Americans should be free 
to attend American public schools without penalties of any kind; 
no Americans should be forbidden to read and discuss freely any 
honest criticism of Catholic policy; and all marriages recognized 
by the government of the American people should be recognized 
by all the people. These principles are elementary in a democ- 
racy, and probably they would be recognized as just and reason- 
able by the overwhelming majority of the American Catholic 
people if those people could be given a chance to vote on the 
issues without ecclesiastical pressure and misrepresentation. 

Then why should not American democracy make such adjust- 
ments a basic minimum for an honorable peace with Vatican 

The mere asking of such a cpestion reveals how far democracy 
is from a realistic policy in dealing with Vatican encroachments 
on the democratic way of life. We have permitted a confused 
sentimentality on so-called religious matters to blanket the dis- 
cussion of some of the great moral issues of our time. 

We have been thoroughly aroused to the necessity of defending 
our freedoms against one form of totalitarian power; we have 
been astonishingly apathetic concerning the perils of the other. 
We need to return once again to American first principles and 
renew the immortal sentiment of Thomas Jefferson printed at 
the beginning of this book: "I have sworn upon the altar of God 
eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of 



HOLY SEE (Excerpts) 


Italy recognises and reaffirms the principle set forth in Article I of the 
Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy of 4 March 1848, whereby the 
Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion is the sole religion of the State. 


Italy recognises the sovereignty of the Holy See in the international 
field as an inherent attribute of its nature, in conformity with its tradition 
and the exigencies of its mission in the world. 


The sovereignty and exclusive jurisdiction which Italy recognises to the 
Holy See implies that there cannot be any interference whatsoever on 
the part of the Italian Government, and that within Vatican City there will 
be no other authority than the Holy See. 


Italy considers the person of the Supreme Pontiff as sacred and in- 
violable, and declares attempts against him, or incitement to commit them, 
punishable by the same penalties established for attempts or incitement 
to commit them against the person of the King. Offences or insults pub- 
licly committed in Italian territory against the person of the Supreme 
Pontiff with spoken or written word are punishable as such offences or 
insults against the person of the King. 


The Central bodies of the Catholic Church are exempt from all inter- 
ference on the part of the Italian State, except for dispositions of Italian, 
law concerning purchases by moral bodies, as well as transfer of real estate. 




Italy recognises to the Holy See the active and passive right to maintain 
legations according to the general regulations of international law. Envoys 
of foreign governments to the Holy See will continue to enjoy all of the 
prerogatives and immunities which accrue to diplomatic agents according 
to international law. Their seats can continue to remain in Italian terri- 
tory, enjoying the immunity due them according to international law, 
even though their States shall not have diplomatic relations with Italy. 
It is agreed that Italy pledges for ever in every case to let pass freely 
correspondence of all States, including belligerents, both to the Holy See 
and vice versa, as well as to permit free access of bishops of the whole 
world to the Apostolic See. 

The high contracting parties pledge themselves to establish normal 
diplomatic relations through the accrediting of an Italian ambassador to 
the Holy See and of a pontifical nuncio to Italy, who will be dean of the 
diplomatic corps according to the customary right recognised by the 
Congress of Vienna, 9 January 1815. 

By reason, of the recognised sovereignty, and without prejudice as set 
forth in Article XIX, diplomats and Holy See couriers sent in the name 
of the Supreme Pontiff enjoy in Italian territory, even in time of war, the 
same treatment due diplomats and diplomatic couriers of other foreign 
governments according to the regulations of international law. 


The Holy See, in relation to the sovereignty due to it also in the inter- 
national sphere, declares that it wishes to remain and will remain extra- 
neous to ail temporal disputes between States and to international con- 
gresses held for such objects, unless the contending parties make 
concordant appeal to its peaceful mission; at the same time reserving the 
right to exercise its moral and spiritual power. 

Jn consequence of this declaration, Vatican City will always and in 
every case be considered neutral and inviolable territory. 


The Holy See agrees that with the agreements signed today, adequate 
assurance is made for what is necessary for it for providing for due liberty 
and independence of the pastoral government of the diocese of Rome and 
the Catholic Church in Italy and the world, declares the Roman Question 
definitely and irrevocably settled and therefore eliminated, and recognises 
the Kingdom of Italy under the dynasty of the House of Savoy, with Rome 
the capital of the Italian State. 

Italy in her turn recognises the State of the Vatican City under the 
sovereignty of the Supreme Pontiff. 

The law of the 1 3 May 1871 , No. 214, is abrogated as well as any other 
decree contrary to the present treaty. 


HOLY SEE (Excerpts) 


Italy, according to the terms of Article I of the Treaty, assures to the 
Catholic Church free exercise of spiritual power, free and public exercise 
of worship, as well as jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters, in conformity 
with the regulations of our present concordat; where it is necessary accords 
to ecclesiastics the defence of its authority for acts of their spiritual minis- 
try. In consideration of the sacred character of the Eternal City, Bishopric 
of the Supreme Pontiff and bourne of pilgrimages, the Italian Government 
will engage to prevent in Rome all which may conflict with the said 


Theological students of the last two years of preparation in theology 
intended for the priesthood and novices in religious institutions may, on 
their request, postpone from year to year until the twenty-sixth year 
of age fulfilment of the obligations of military service. 

Clerics ordained "in sacris" and members of religious orders who take 
vows are exempt from military service except in case of general mobilisa- 
tion. In such cases priests pass into the armed forces of the State, but 
maintain their religious dress, so that they can practise among the troops 
their sacred ministry under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the military 
ordinary Bishop. According to the terms they are preferentially attached 
to the health services. 

At the same time, even if general mobilisation is ordered, priests exer- 
cising full Divine rights are dispensed from call to arms. . . . 


Ecclesiastics and members of religious orders are exempt from the office 
of jurymen. 


No ecclesiastic can be employed or remain in the employment or offices 
of the Italian State or public bodies depending upon the same without 
"nulla osta" of the diocesan ordinary. 

Revocation of "nulla osta" deprives the ecclesiastics of capacity to con- 
tinue exercising employment or office taken up. 

In any case apostate priests or those incurring censure cannot be em- 
ployed in a teaching post or any office or employment in which they have 
immediate contact with the public. 


Stipends and other emoluments enjoyed by ecclesiastics on account of 
their office are exempt from charges and Hens in the same way as stipends 
and salaries of State employees. 



Ecclesiastics cannot be required by magistrates or other authorities to 
give information regarding persons or matters that have come to their 
knowledge through the exercise of their sacred ministry. 


In the case of the sending of an ecclesiastic or a member of a religious 
order before a penal magistrate for crime, the King's procurator must in- 
form the proceedings thereof to the ordinary of the diocese in whose 
territory he exercises jurisdiction, and must immediately transmit to the 
office of the ordinary the preliminary decision thereon and, if issued, the 
final sentence, both of the court of first instance and the court of appeal. 

In case of arrest, the ecclesiastic or member of a religious order is 
treated with the respect due to his state and hierarchical degree. In case 
of the sentence of an ecclesiastic or member of a religious order, punish- 
ment is to be undergone in places separate from those designated for 
laymen, unless a competent ordinary has reduced the prisoner to a lay 


The State recognises the holidays established by the Church, which are: 
All Sundays, New Year's Day, Epiphany, St. Joseph's Day (that is, 19 
March), Ascension Day, Corpus Domini, the Feast of the Apostles Sts. 
Peter and Paul (that is, 29 June), the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary (15 August), All Saints' Day, the Feast of the Immaculate Concep- 
tion (8 December), and Christmas Day. 


The choice of archbishops belongs to the Holy See. Before an arch- 
bishop, bishop, or coadjutor with the right of succession is nominated, 
the Holy See shall communicate the name of the chosen person to the 
Italian Government, in order to be sure that the Government has no 
objections of a political nature against such person. The formalities to this 
effect shall be carried out with all possible haste and with the greatest 
discretion, so that secrecy about the chosen candidate shall be maintained 
until fie is formally nominated. 


The Italian State, wishing to reinvest the institution of marriage, which 
is the basis of the family, with the dignity conformable to the Catholic 
traditions of its people, recognises the sacrament of matrimony performed 
according to canon law as fully effective in civil law. Notices of such 
marriages will be made both in the parish church and in the town or city 
hail, Immediately after the celebration of such marriage the parish priest 
will explain to those he has married the civil effect of matrimony, reading 
the articles of the civil code regarding the rights and duties of spouses 


and will prepare the marriage certificate, a copy of which he will send 
within five days to the commune in order that it may be copied into the 
registers by the civil authorities. 

Cases concerning nullity of marriage and dispensation from marriage by 
reason of nonconsummation are reserved for ecclesiastical tribunals and 
their departments. 


Italy considers the teaching of Christian Doctrine according to the forms 
received from Catholic tradition as the foundation and crown of public 
education. Therefore Italy consents that the religious teaching now im- 
parted in the elementary schools be further developed in the middle schools 
according to a programme to be agreed upon between the Holy See and 
the State. 

Such instruction will be given by masters, professors, priests, and mem- 
bers of religious orders approved by ecclesiastical authorities and in sub- 
sidiary form by lay masters and professors furnished with proper 
certificates of capacity issued by the diocesan ordinary. 

Revocation of the certificate by the ordinary immediately deprives the 
teacher of authority to instruct. Only textbooks approved by the eccle- 
siastical authorities will be used in the public schools for such religious 


Italy will admit recognition by royal decree of noble titles conferred 
by the Supreme Pontiff even after 1870 and also those to be conferred in 
the future. In cases to be determined such recognition will not be subject 
to an initial payment of tax. 



Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt in her column "My Day," as published 
in the New York World-Telegram of June 23, 1 949, said: 

The controversy brought about by the request made by Francis Cardinal 
Spellman that Catholic schools should share in federal aid funds forces 
upon the citizens of the country the kind of decision that is going to be 
very difficult to make. 

Those of us who believe in the right of any human being to belong to 
whatever church he sees fit, and to worship God in his own way, cannot 
be accused of prejudice when we do not want to see public education con- 
nected with religious control of the schools, which are paid for by tax- 
payers' money. 

If we desire our children to go to schools of any particular kind, be it 
because we think they should have religious instruction or for any other 


reason, we are entirely free to set up those schools and to pay for them. 
Thus, our children would receive the kind of education we feel would 
best fit them for life. 

Many years ago it was decided that the public schools of our country 
should be entirely separated from any kind of denominational control, and 
these are the only schools that are free, tax-supported schools. The greatest 
number of our children attend these schools. 

It is quite possible that private schools, whether they are denomina- 
tional schools Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, or what- 
ever or whether they are, purely academic, may make a great 
contribution to the public school systems, both on the lower levels and on 
the higher levels. 

They will be somewhat freer to develop new methods and to try experi- 
ments, and they will serve as yardsticks in the competitive area of creating 
better methods of imparting knowledge. 

This, however, is the very reason why they should not receive Federal 
funds; in fact, no tax funds of any kind. 

The separation of church and state is extremely important to any of us 
who hold to the original traditions of our nation. To change these tra- 
ditions by changing our traditional attitude toward public education would 
be harmful, I think, to our whole attitude of tolerance in the religious area. 

If we look at situations which have arisen in the past in Europe and 
other world areas, I think we will see the reasons why it is wise to hold 
to our early traditions. 

On July 21, Cardinal Spellman sent the following letter to 

Mrs, Roosevelt, and released it to the press: 

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: 

When, on June 23 in your column, My Day, you aligned yourself 
with the author and other proponents of the Harden bill and condemned 
me for defending Catholic children against those who would deny them 
their constitutional rights of equality with other American children, you 
could have acted only from misinformation, ignorance or prejudice, not 
from knowledge and understanding. 

ft is apparent that you did not take the time to read my address de- 
livered at Fordham University; and, in your column of July 15 you admit- 
ted that you did not even carefully read and acquaint yourself with the 
facts of the Harden bill the now famous, infamous bill that would un- 
justly discriminate against minority groups of America's children. 

Unlike you, Mrs. Roosevelt, I did not make a public statement until I 
had studied every phrase of the Harden bill; nor did I take issue with a 
man because his faith differed from mine. We differed, Congressman 
Harden and f, over the unimpeachable issue of equal benefits and equal 
rights for all America's children. 

I had intended ignoring your personal attack, but, as the days passed 
and in two subsequent columns you continued your anti-Catholic cam- 


paign, I became convinced that it was in the interest of all Americans 
and the cause of justice itself that your misstatements should be challenged 
in every quarter of our country where they have already spun and spread 
their web of prejudice. I have received hundreds of messages from persons 
of all faiths demanding that I answer you. I am, therefore, not free to 
ignore you. 

You say you are against religious control of schools which are paid for 
by taxpayers' money. That is exactly what I, too, oppose. But I am also 
opposed to any bill that includes children who attend parochial schools 
for the purpose of receiving funds from the Federal Government while 
it excludes these same children from the distribution and benefits of the 
funds allocated. 

I believe that if the Federal Government provides a bottle of milk to 
each child in a public school it should provide milk for all school children. 
I believe if, through the use of Federal funds the children who attend 
public schools are immunized from contagious diseases that all children 
should be protected from these diseases. 

Taxation without representation is tyranny was the cry that roused and 
rallied our pioneer Americans to fight for justice. Taxation without partici- 
pation should rouse today's Americans to equal ardor to protest an injustice 
that would deprive millions of American children of health and safety 
benefits to which all our children are entitled. And the Supreme Court 
of the United States has declared that health and transportation services 
and the distribution of non-religious textbooks to pupils attending paro- 
chial schools do not violate our Constitution. 

"The separation of church and state is extremely important to us who 
hold to the original traditions of our nation," you continue. But health 
and safety benefits and providing standard non-religious textbooks for all 
American children have nothing to do with the question of separation of 
church and state! 

I cannot presume upon the press to discuss, analyze or refute each 
inaccuracy in your columns for they are manifold. Had you taken an 
objective, impersonal stand, I could then, in the same impersonal manner, 
answer you. But you did not. Apparently your attitude of mind precluded 
you from comprehending issues which you either rigorously defended or 
flagrantly condemned while ignorant of the facts concerning both the 
Barden bill and rny own denunciation of it. 

American freedom not only permits but encourages differences of 
opinion and I do not question your right to differ with me. But why, I 
wonder, do you repeatedly plead causes that are anti-Catholic? 

Even if you cannot find it within your heart to defend the rights of 
innocent little children and heroic, helpless men like Cardinal Martyr 
Mindszenty, can you not have the charity not to cast upon them still an- 
other stone? 

America's Catholic youth helped fight a long and bitter fight to save 


all Americans from oppression and persecution. Their broken bodies on 
blood-soaked foreign fields were grim and tragic testimony of this fact. I 
saw them there on every fighting front as equally they shared with 
their fellow-fighters all the sacrifice, terror and gore of war as alike they 
shared the little good and glory that sometimes comes to men as together 
they fight and win a brutal battle. 

Would you deny equality to these Catholic boys who daily stood at the 
sad threshold of untimely death and suffered martyrdom that you and I 
and the world of men might live in liberty and peace? 

Would you deny their children equal rights and benefits with other sects 

rights for which their fathers paid equal taxation with other fathers and 
fought two bitter wars that all children might forever be free from fear, 
oppression and religious persecution? 

During the war years you visited the hospitals in many countries, as 
did I. You too saw America's sons Catholic, Protestant and Jew alike 

young, battered, scarred, torn and mutilated, dying in agony that we 
might learn to live in charity with one another. Then how was it that 
your own heart was not purged of all prejudices by what you saw these, 
your sons, suffer? 

Now my case is closed. This letter will be released to the public tomor- 
row after it has been delivered to you by special delivery today. And even 
though you may again use your columns to attack me and again accuse 
rne of starting a controversy, I shall not again publicly acknowledge you. 
For, whatever you may say in the future, your record of anti-Catholicism 
stands for all to see a record which you yourself wrote on the pages of 
history which cannot be recalled documents of discrimination unworthy 
of an American mother! 

Sincerely yours, 

Archbishop of New York 

Two days later, Mrs. Roosevelt sent the following reply to 
Cardinal Spellman: 

Your Eminence: 

Your letter of July 21st surprised me considerably. 

I have never advocated the Barden bill nor any other specific bill on 
education now before the Congress. 1 believe, however, in Federal aid 
to education. 

I have stated in my column some broad principles which I consider 
important and said I regretted your attack on the Barden bill because 
you aligned yourself with those who, from my point of view, advocated 
an unwise attitude which may lead to difficulties in this country, and have, 
as a result, the exact things which you and I would deplore, namely, the 


increase in bitterness among the Roman Catholic groups, and the Prot- 
estant and other religious groups. 

I read only what was in the papers about your address and I stated in 
my column very carefully that I had not read the Harden bill o*r any other 
bill carefully, because I do not wish to have it said that I am in favor of 
any particular bill. 

If I may, I would like to state again very simply for you the things I 
believe are important in this controversy. In the early days in this country 
there were rather few Roman Catholic settlements. The majority of the 
people coming here were Protestants and not very tolerant, but they 
believed that in establishing a democratic form of government it was 
essential that there be free education for as large a number of people as 
possible, so there was a movement to create free public schools for all 
children who wished to attend them. Nothing was said about private 

As we have developed in this country we have done more and more for 
our public schools. They are open to all children and it has been decided 
that there should be no particular religious beliefs taught in them. 

I believe that there should be freedom for every child to be educated 
in his own religion. In public schools it should be taught that the spiritual 
side of life is most important. I would be happy if some agreement could 
be reached on passages from the Bible and some prayer that could be 
used. The real religious teaching of any child must be done by his own 
church and in his own home. 

It is fallacious, I think, to say that because children going to public 
schools are granted free textbooks in some states, free transportation, or 
free school lunches, that these same things must be given to children going 
to private schools. 

Different states, of course, have done different things as they came 
under majority pressure from citizens who had certain desires, but basically 
by and large, throughout the country, I think there is still a feeling that the 
public school is the school which is open to all children, and which is 
supported by all the people of the country and that anything that is done 
for the public schools should be done for them alone. 

I would feel that certain medical care should be available to all chil- 
dren, but that is a different thing and should be treated differently. If we 
set up free medical care for all children, then it should not be tied in with 
any school. 

At present there are physical examinations for children in public 
schools which are provided without cost to the parents, but there is nothing 
to prevent people who send their children to private schools from making 
arrangements to pay for similar examinations for their children, 

I should like to point out to you that I talked about parochial schools 
and that to my mind means any schools organized by any sectarian group 
and not exclusively a Roman Catholic school. Children attending paro- 


chial schools are^of course, taught according to the tenets of their respec- 
tive churches. 

As I grow older it seems to me important that there be no great stress 
laid on our divisions, but that we stress as much as possible our agree- 

You state: "And the Supreme Court of the United States has declared 
that health and transportation services and the distribution of non-religious 
textbooks to pupils attending parochial schools do not violate our Consti- 
tution." None of us will presume to decide questions which will come up 
before the Supreme -Court of the United States, but all of us must think 
seriously about anything which is done, not only in relation to the specific 
thing, but in relation to what may follow after it and what we think will be 
good for the country. 

Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I 
think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by 
any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the 

Spiritual leadership should remain spiritual leadership and the temporal 
power should not become too important in any church. 

I have no bias against the Roman Catholic Church and I have supported 
Governor Smith as Governor and worked for him as a candidate for the 
office of President of the United States. I have supported for public office 
many other Roman Catholic candidates. 

You speak of the Mindszenty case. I spoke out very clearly against any 
unfair type of trial and anything anywhere in any country which might 
seem like attack on an individual because of his religious beliefs. I can- 
not, however, say that in European countries the control by the Roman 
Catholic Church of great areas of land has always led to happiness for 
the people of those countries. 

1 have never visited hospitals and asked or thought about the religion 
of any boy in any bed. I have never in a military cemetery had any 
different feeling about the graves of the boys who lay there. Ail of our 
boys of every race, creed and color fought for the country and they deserve 
our help and gratitude. 

It is not my wish to deny children anywhere equal rights or benefits. 
It is, however, the decision of parents when they select a private or de- 
nominational school, whether it be Episcopal, Wesleyan, Jewish or Roman 

I can assure you that I have no prejudice. I understand the beliefs of 
the Roman Catholic Church very well I happen to be a Protestant and I 
prefer my own church, but that does not make me feel that anyone has 
any less right to believe as his own convictions guide him. 

I have no intention of attacking you personally, nor of attacking the 
Roman Catholic Church* but I shall, of course, continue to stand for the 
things in our Government which I think are right. They may lead me to 


be in opposition to you and to other groups within our country, but I 
shall always act, as far as I am able, from real conviction and from honest 

If you carefully studied my record, I think you would not find it one of 
anti-Catholic or anti-any-religious group. 

I assure you that 1 have no sense of being "an unworthy American 
mother." The final judgment, my dear Cardinal Spellman, of the worthi- 
ness of all human beings is in the hands of God. 
With deepest respect, I am 

Very sincerely yours, 



Annuario Pontifico. Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1950. 

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Ashby, Eric. Scientist in Russia. Penguin Books (Harmonds worth, Middlesex), 

Barghoorn, Frederick C. The Soviet Image of the United States. Harcourt, 

Brace and Company, 1950. 

Barmine, Alexander. One Who Survived. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1945. 
Bartoli, Giorgio. The Primitive Church and the Primacy of Rome. Hodder 

and Stoughton (London), 1910. 

Berman, Harold J. Justice in Russia. Harvard University Press, 1950. 
Bernhart, Joseph. The Vatican as a World Power. Longmans, Green and 

Company, 1939. 
Betten, Francis. The Roman Index of Forbidden Books. B. Herder Book 

Company, 1912. 

Binchy, D. A. Church and State in Fascist Italy. Oxford University Press, 1941. 
Blanshard, Paul. American Freedom and Catholic Power. Beacon Press, 1949. 
Blau, Joseph L. Cornerstones of Religious Freedom in America. Beacon Press, 

Blueprint for World Conquest as Outlined by The Communist International. 

Introduction by W. H. Chamberlin. Human Events, 1946. 
Bouscaren, T. Lincoln. Canon Law Digest. Two volumes. Bruce Publishing 

Company, 1934, 1943. 
Bouscaren, T. Lincoln, and Ellis, Adam C. Canon Law: Text and Commentary, 

Bruce Publishing Company, 1946. 
Budenz, Louis F. Men Without Faces. Harper and Brothers, 1950. 

. This /$ My Story. Whittlesey House, 1947. 

Butts, R. Freeman. The American Tradition in Religion and Education* 

Beacon Press, 1950. 
Carlyle, R. W. and A. J. A History of Medieval Political Theory in the West. 

Six volumes. W. Blackwood and Sons (London), 1936. 
Catechism of Christian Doctrine. (Baltimore Catechism.) St. Anthony Guild 

Press (Paterson, New Jersey), 1949. 
Catholic Almanac, 1950. St. Anthony Guild Press (Paterson, New Jersey), 

Chamberlin, William Henry. The Russian Revolution. Two volumes. The 

Macmillan Company, 1935. 

._ . Soviet Russia. Little, Brown and Company, 1930. 
Cianfarra, Camiile M. The Vatican and the Kremlin. E. P. Dutton and Com- 
pany, 1950. 

,_ . xhc Vatican and the War. E. P. Dutton and Company, 1945. 
Codex Inns CanonicL Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1947. 

CouJton, G. G. Inquisition and Liberty. W. Heincmann, Ltd. (London), 1938. 
Counts, George $., and Lodge, Nucia. The Country of the Blind. Houghton 

Mifflin Company, 1949. 



. 1 Want to Be Like Stalin. John Day Company, 1947. 

Curtiss, John S. Church and State in Russia, 1900-1917. Columbia University 

Press, 1940. 

Dallin, David J. The Real Soviet Russia. Yale University Press, 1944, 1947. 
Deane, John R. The Strange Alliance. Viking Press, 1946. 
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin: A Political Biography. Oxford University Press, 1949. 
Duchesne, Louis. Early History of the Christian Church. Three volumes. 

Longmans, Green and Company, 1924. 
Durant, Will. The Age of Faith. Sirr*on and Schuster, 1950. 
Emerton, Ephraim, editor. The Correspondence of Pope Gregory VII. Colum- 
bia University Press, 1932. 

Fischer, John. Why They Behave Like Russians. Harper and Brothers, 1947. 
Fischer, Louis. The Soviets in World Affairs. Two volumes. Jonathan Crowe 

(London), 1930. 

Five Great Encyclicals. Paulist Press, 1947. 
Florinsky, Michael T. World Revolution and the U.S.S.R. The Macmillan 

Company, 1933. 
Foltz, Charles, Jr. The Masquerade in Spain. Houghton Mifflin Company, 

Gibbons, James Cardinal. A Retrospect of Fifty Years. Two volumes. John 

Murphy Company (Baltimore), 1916. 

Gitlow, Benjamin. The Whole of Their Lives. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948. 
God That Failed, The. Symposium edited by R. H. S. Grossman. Harper and 

Brothers, 1950. 

Gunther, John. Behind the Curtain. Harper and Brothers, 1949. 
Harper, Samuel N., and Thompson, Ronald. The Government of the Soviet 

Union. D. Van Nostrand and Company, 1949. 
History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Edited by the Central 

Committee. International Publishers, 1939. 
Hook, Sidney. From Hegel to Marx. Humanities Press, 1950. 
Howell Smith, A. D. Thou Art Peter. C. A. Watts and Company (London), 


Hughes, Emmet. Report From Spain. Henry Holt and Company, 1947. 
Hughes, Philip. A Popular History of the Catholic Church. The Macmillan 

Company, 1949. 
Husslein, Joseph. Social Wellsprings. (Encyclicals.) Two volumes. Bruce 

Publishing Company, 1942. 

Index Libre-rum Prohibitomm. Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1948. 
Inkeles, Alex. Public Opinion in Soviet Russia. Harvard University Press, 1950. 
Kravchenko, Victor. / Chose Freedom. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1946, 
La Piana, George. "A Totalitarian Church in a Democratic State." Shane 

Quarterly, April 1949. 
Lea, H. C. A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Three volumes. 

Harper and Brothers, 1888. 
Lenin, V. T. Religion. (Pamphlet.) International Publishers, 1933. 

. Selected Works. Twelve volumes. International Publishers, 1935, 

Manhattan, Avro. The Vatican and World Politics. Gaer Associates, 1949. 
Manual of Christian Doctrine. 62nd edition. Christian Brothers (122 West 

77th Street, New York), 1949. 
Marshall, Charles C. The Roman Catholic Church in the Modern State. Dodd, 

Mead and Company, 1931. 


Mazour, Anatole G. An Outline of Modern Russian Historiography. Univer- 
sity of California Press, 1939. 

Mikolajczyk, Stanislaw. The Rape of Poland. WMttlesey House, 1948. 

Moehlman, Conrad. The Wall of Separation Between Church and State. Bea- 
con Press, 1951. 

Moore, Harrington, Jr. Soviet Politics the Dilemma of Power. Harvard Uni- 
versity Press, 1950. 

Moore, Thomas E. Peter's City. The Macmillan Company, 1930. 

Mosely, Philip E., editor. Soviet Union Since World War II. (Volume 263 of 
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.) 1949. 

Nazi-Soviet Relations, edited by R. J. Sontag and J. S. Eddie. United States 
State Department, 1948. 

Rossi, A. The Communist Party in Action. Yale University Press, 1949. 

Salvemini, Gaetano, and La Piana, George. What to Do With Italy. Duell, 
Sloan and Pearce, 1943. 

Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr. The Vital Center. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949. 

Schwarzschild, Leopold. The Red Prussian. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947. 

Shotwell, James T., and Loomis, Louise. The See of Peter. Columbia Univer- 
sity Press, 1927. 

Smit, J. O., and Vanderveldt, J. H. Angelic Shepherd: The Life of Pope Pius 
Xll . Dodcl, Mead and Company, 1950. 

Smith, George D., editor. The Teaching of the Catholic Church. Two volumes. 
The Macmillan Company, 1949. 

Smith, Walter Bedell. My Three Years in Moscow. J. B, Lippincott Company, 

Snow, Edgar. The Pattern of Soviet Power. Random House, 1945. 

Sorokin, Pitirim, Russia and the United States. E. P. Dutton and Company, 

Sprigge, Cecil J. S. The Development of Modern Italy. Yale University Press, 

Stalin, Joseph. Leninism. Two volumes. G. Allen and Unwin (London), 1933. 

Stalin's Kampf, edited by M. R. Werner. Howell, Soskin and Company, 1940. 

Stokes, Amon P. Church and State in the United States. Three volumes. Har- 
per and Brothers, 1950. 

Thompson, R. W. The Papacy and the Civil Power. Harper and Brothers, 

Timasheff, Nicholas S, The Great Retreat. E. P. Dutton and Company, 1946. 

Towster, Julian. Political Power in the U.S.S.R,, 1917-1947. Oxford University 
Press, 1948. 

Trotsky, Leon. The History of the Russian Revolution. Three volumes, Simon 
and Schuster, 1932. 

Vyshinsky, Andrei. The Law of the Soviet State. The Macmillan Company, 

Walsh, Warren B. and Price, Roy A. Russia: A Handbook. Syracuse University 
Press, 1948. 

Williams, Melvin J. Catholic Social Thought. Ronald Press, 1950. 

Wolfe, Bertram, Three Who Made a Revolution. Dial Press, 1948. 

Wright, Gordon. The Reshaping of French Democracy. Reynal and Hitchcock, 

Zirkle, Conway, editor* Death of a Science in Russia. University of Pennsyl- 
vania Press, 1949. 


(Books listed in the Bibliography are referred to by the author's surname 
and, where necessary, his initial or a short title.) 

Chapter 1 

1. The committee included Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., James Burnham, and 
James T. FarrelL Its statement was printed in full in the Information 
Service Bulletin of the Federal Council of Churches, November 18, 1950. 

2. New York Times, November 17, 1950. 

3. Blueprint, p. 207. 

4. Lenin, Selected Works, XI, 658. For first quoted sentences and opinions, 
see pp. 660, 664. 

5. Stalin, p. 70. 

5a. Bishop Ivan Bucko, described in the Catholic News of January 20, 1951, 
as "the only Ukrainian Bishop to have escaped the Soviet regime," esti- 
mated that before World War II there had been 6,000,000 Ukrainian 
Catholics in Russia and Central Europe, including East Germany, Hungary, 
and Czechoslovakia. He said: "My people cannot resist Soviet persecution 
much longer. I fear the Ukrainian Catholics will sooner or later go over 
to the Orthodox faith." 

6. See Dallin, chap. 4; Karpovich, in Russian Review, Spring 1944; Chamber- 
lin, Soviet Russia, chap. 13; and Timasheff, chap. 8. 

7. New York Times, August 29, 1950. 

8. Curtiss,p. 187. 

9. Florinsky,p. 19. 

10. "Political Parties in the Russian Duma," by Warren B. Walsh, in Journal 
of Modern History, June 1950. 

11. Sorokin, p. 94. 

12. Louis Fischer, I, 522. 

13. Pius XI, Atheistic Communism (pamphlet), Paulist Press, p. 5. Original 
text in Apostolicae Sedis, March 31, 1937; translation in Husslein, II, 341; 
and in Five Great Encyclicals, p. 177. 

14. The story, chiefly from the Vatican's point of view, is told in a recent book 
by Camille M. Cianfarra, Vatican correspondent of the New York Times: 
The Vatican and the Kremlin. 

15. New York Times, April 26, 1950; and Times Index for August 1950. 
For a contemporary summary of the battle, see Arnaldo Cortesi, New York 
Times, February 13, 1949. 

16. The Catholic population of the world has been variously estimated by 
Catholic authorities from 330,000,000 (What Jls Catholic Action?, 1940, 
p. 50) to 375,000,000 (estimate of the 1950 Catholic Almanac), 


NOTES 317 

With the recent losses in eastern Europe, it is likely that 350,000,000 is a 
generous estimate,, and it should be remembered that about 27 per cent 
of these estimated numbers are children below thirteen, since all baptized 
infants are counted in the Catholic totals. The membership estimate of 
25,000,000 for Communist parties is from an article in the New York 
Times of April 23, 1950, by Harry Schwartz, an authority in this field. 

17. Gunther, p. 190. 

18. See the very interesting interview with Archbishop Stepinac by Cyrus 
Sulzberger in the New York Times of November 13, 1950. The official 
Tito case against Archbishop Stepinac was published in booklet form 
by the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington in 1947 as The Case of Arch- 
bishop Stepinac. 

19. The full official decree in Latin is in the A eta Apostolicae Sedis, July 24, 
1949; the English text in the New York Times of July 14, 1949; and the 
principal text with Catholic comment in America of July 30, 1949. 

20. America, August 20, 1949; and New York Times, August 6, 1949. 

21. Quoted in the New York Times, July 31, 1949. 

22. Ibid., August 17, 1949. 

Chapter 2 

1. Wolfe, p. 20. 

2. See American Sociological Review, August 1950, article by Alex Inkeles. 

3. Towster, p. 205. For the most part, in this description of the framework 
of the Soviet government, I have followed Towster. Harper and Thomp- 
son's standard work reprints the present Constitution of the Soviet Union. 

4. Quoted by Towster, p. 186, from 1923 statement. 

5. Moore, p. 233. 

6. Stalin, Constitution, p. 29, quoted in Towster, p. 194. 

7. New York Times, June 12, 1950 (editorial); for 1950 election figures, see 
issue of March 16, 1950. 

8. Quoted in New York Times, November 8, 1 949. 

9. April 25, 1949, quoted by Current Digest, Vol. I, No. 17, p. 43. 

10. Stalin, II, 44. 

11. See The Election to the Russian Constituent Assembly of 1917, by Oliver 
H. Radkey, Harvard University Press, 1950. 

12. History, p. 305. 

13. Walsh and Price, p. 43. 

14. Inkeles, p, 68. 

15. Trud, May 11, 1949. 

16. W. B. Smith, p. 26. 

17. Lenin, Selected Works, II, 17. 

18. S. Abalin, Pravda, January 12, 1949. For current history of the interna- 
tional, see New York Times, October 6, 1947, and October 9, 1949. 

19. Oillow has discussed this incident; Budenz has described it in some detail 
in This, Av My Story. 

20. The Communist International, March 5, 1934. 

21. New York Times, October 6, 1947. 

22. See Armstrong* 


Chapter 3 


1. G.D. Smith, II, 731. 

2. In article on "Papacy." 

3. For a discussion of this passage and the place of Peter in the early church 
see E. F. Scott, D.D., The Nature of the Early Church, Charles Scribner's 
Sons, 1941. Dr. Scott says about the famous passage in Matthew 16: 
"As it stands, however, it is more than suspicious. Mark, on whom 
Matthew is dependent throughout the chapter, knows nothing of this 
addition, and it is quite out of keeping with the incident to which it is 
attached. Peter had earned no special privilege by his confession, for 
he had only acted as spokesman for the whole band of disciples. Nor can 
Jesus have been in the mood to congratulate him for he was accepting the 
Messiahship as a terrible burden from which there was no escape.'* See 
also Howell Smith, chapter on "The Evolution of the Papacy"; and The 
See of Peter by James T. Shotwell and Louise R. Loomis. 

4. Carlyle, Vols. I, II. The claims of Gregory VII are discussed in Vol. II. 

5. Encyclopedia Britannica, "Empire." See also Emerton. 

6. In his Unam Sanctam. 

7. Encyclopedia Britannica, "Italy." 

8. Manual of Christian Doctrine, p. 128. 

9. Shotwell and Loomis, in their detailed and authoritative summary of the 
available evidence for the Petrine tradition in the Bible and elsewhere, say 
(p. 6): "For any connection of Peter with the city of Rome the witness 
of the New Testament is vague and inconclusive . . . taken by itself it is 
insufficient to prove anything." The authors list in translation all the 
documents on which the Church relies for its claim that Peter actually 
headed a hierarchy in Rome. The earliest documents are so indefinite 
that they can be used as effectively in opposition to Vatican claims as in 
support of them. A letter of about 95 A.D,, ascribed to Clement of Rome, 
mentions Peter by inference as a good apostle and great pillar of the 
Church who "by reason of unrighteous envy endured not one nor two 
but many trials, and so, having borne his testimony, he passed to his 
appointed place of glory." A letter of Ignatius, second bishop of Antioch, 
written about 116 A.D. to his churches, says: "1 do not command you as 
Peter and Paul did. They were apostles." Ignatius in greeting the Roman 
Christians in a flowery passage speaks of the Roman church as "pre- 
eminent in the land of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, 
worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of prosperity, worthy in her 
purity and foremost in love." Shotwell and Loomis say of this patssagc 
(p. 241): "This is the first of several obscure and vague passages in the 
early Fathers that testify to a prominence or leadership of the Roman 
church but leave one uncertain as to the exact nature or extent of the 
distinction." The authors point out (p. 61) that it was not until 354 A.D. 
that "we find Peter definitely and positively styled the first bishop of 

10. See Smit and Vanderveldt for the official biography of Pius XII. 

11. Bernhart, p. 428. 

12. Catholic Almanac, 1950, p. 109. 

13. Page 99. 

NOTES 319 

14. Vol. X, p. 418. 

15. Vol. IV, p. 321. 

16. G. D. Smith, II, 725. 

17. Page 487. Published by McVey, Philadelphia, 1901. 

18. Chap. 2, quoted in The Exposition of Christian Doctrine. 

19. Five Great Encyclicals, p. 136. 

20. LaPiana,p. 81. 

Chapter 4 

1. Barmine, the former Brigadier General in the Red Army, who had many 
contacts with Stalin, says on page 259 of his One Who Survived: "We 
knew him as a slow and plodding thinker, cautious and suspicious . . . 
he is swift and ruthless once he begins to act." 

2. Stalin's Kampf, p. 244. See also Deutscher. 

3. Lenin, Religion, pp. 41 ff. 

4. Counts and Lodge, Country, p. 75, quoted from History of the U.S.S.R. 
(edited by A. Pankratova), III, 310-11. 

5. Snow, p. 145. 

6. New York Herald Tribune, January 7, 1951. 

7. The God That Failed, p. 194. 

8. New York Times, December 25, 1949. Albanian reference, December 1, 

9. Political Affairs, January 1950, p. 2. 

10. New York Times, December 19, 1949. 

11. Soviet Literature, No. 4, 1950. 

1 2. New York Times, December 12, 1949. 

13. Pravda, December 20, 1949, article on "Our Stalin,*' by Arkady Pervent- 
sev. Quoted in Current Digest, Vol. I, No. 52. 

14. VOKS Bulletin, 1949, II, 56. This is published by the USSR Society for 
Cultural Relations with Other Countries. The editor is Vladimir Kemerov. 

15. Pravda, August 28, 1936. Quoted by Eugene Lyons in the American 

1 6. Pravda, December 21, 1949. 

1 7. Schlesinger, p. 75. 

18. G. D. Smith, II, 685, describes the distinctions as roughly corresponding 
ID the Latin theological terms, dulia for the saints, and latria for God. 

19. An example was described in Osservatore Romano, July 28, 1950. 

20. Most of these generalizations about the Pope and his power flow inevitably 
from the Catholic thesis that he is God's Vicar on earth and that he has 
infallible judgment in determining what is right and wrong. The Very 
Reverend H. A. Ayrinhac in his Constitution of the Church in the New 
Code of Canon Law (p. 32) says: "In religious and ecclesiastical matters 
the Pope has no superior but God; all the members of the Church, moral 
bodies as well as physical persons, are subject to him. He can dispense 
from, change, abrogate, all ecclesiastical laws* whether enacted by par- 
ticular Bishops, Popes or General Councils." Canons 218-221 give the 
Pope jurisdiction over the universal Church by divine law. (See Bouscaren 
and Ellis, pp. 154 II.) Leo Xlll laid down the rule in his Chief Duties 
of Christian Citizens that all Catholics owe obedience to the Pope "as to 
God Himself.'* His right to excommunicate, coupled with his infallibility, 


give the Pope the power to commit any soul to hell. Crimes and penalties, 
as well as the rules for absolution and forgiveness, are described in Canons 
2195 to 2414, and the Pope is the complete dictator over this penal ma- 
chinery if he cares to exercise his dictatorship. See Bouscaren and Ellis 
(pp. 895 if.) for a chart of Latae Sententiae excommunications and sus- 
pensions. The Pope's power to dispense, commute, or annul a promise is 
expressed in Canon 1320; his power over dispensation from impediments is 
described in Canon 1040; the rule concerning his resignation is in Canon 
221; the nine-day funeral rule is described in Bouscaren and Ellis, p. 155; 
the rule of burial in an elevated place, in the same work, p. 699; the 
Pope's right to depose emperors and free their subjects from allegiance 
has been asserted many times, notably by Gregory VII in his letter to the 
people of Constance, recorded in Emerton, p. 54. Moehlman quotes the 
famous eleventh-century paragraph from the Dictatus Papae, on which 
my list is partially based: "The Pope alone may use the imperial insignia; 
all persons shall kiss the foot of the Pope alone; the Pope has the power 
to depose emperors; his decree can be annulled by no one; he can be judged 
by no one; the Roman church has never erred, according to the testimony 
of the holy scriptures; by the Pope's command or permission subjects may 
accuse their rulers; he has the power to absolve subjects from their oath of 
fidelity to wicked rulers." 

21. Quoted by permission from Ceremonies of Beatification and Canonization, 
Society of St. John, Desclees and Company, Tournai, Belgium, 1950. 

Chapter 5 

1. B. Moore, p. 125, from Directives of the Communist Party of the Soviet 
Union on Economic Questions, Moscow, 1931. 

2. Last proposition of the Syllabus of Errors, printed in Marshall. For sources 
of Stalin's attack, see B. Moore, p. 157. 

3. Quoted by J. A. Brown, Jr., in Russian Review, January 1950, article on 
"Public Opinion in the Soviet Union." 

4. Ibid., p. 38. 

5. Vyshinsky, p. 617. 

6. Inkeles, pp. 207 if., discusses letters in the Soviet press. 

7. The New Republic of March 21, 1949, pointed out that the New York 
Daily Worker was caught flat-footed on the expulsion of Miss Strong from 
Russia three days after a reviewer in the Worker had said: "Anna Louise 
Strong would long ago have received the Pulitzer Prize for foreign news 
reporting, if the Pulitzer Prize Committee were not guided by political 

8. Towster, p. 304. Berman discusses the whole Soviet legal system. 

9. No. 2, 1948. 

10. See Tiraasheff, p. 210. 

11. Quoted by A. M. Egolin, Corresponding Member of the Academy of 
Sciences of the U.S.S.R., in The ideological Content of Soviet Literature, 
Public Affairs Press, p. 16. 

12. Ibid., pp. 9, 13. 

13. Inkeles, p. 144. 

14. Margaret K. Webb, in Virginia Quarterly Review, Autumn 1950. 

NOTES 321 

15. Translated in Current Digest, Vol. I, No. 18. 

16. Ibid. 

17. Annals of the American Academy, November 1938. 

18. The Listener (B.B.C.), March 30, 1950. 

19. Saturday Review of Literature, December 4 and 11, 1948. See also 
Bertram Wolfe, "Science Joins the Party," in Antioch Review, Spring 1950. 

20. VOKS Bulletin, No. 56, 1949. 

21. Pravda, August 15, 1948, quoted by Counts and Lodge, Country, p. 213. 

22. Pravda, August 27, 1948, quoted by Counts and Lodge, Country, p. 223. 

23. Zirkle, p. 314. 

24. Saturday Review of Literature, December 11, 1948, 

25. New Republic, December 5, 1949. 

26. Bolshevik, 1944, Nos. 19-20, p. 61, quoted by Inkeles, p. 257. 

27. The words are from a statement attacking an ill-fated opera; the statement, 
by the Central Committee of the Ail-Union Communist Party, was pub- 
lished in Sovietskaia Muzyka, No. 1, 1948, pp. 3-8, as quoted by Counts 
and Lodge, Country, pp. 160 ff. 

28. Ibid., quoted by Counts and Lodge, Country, p. 174, 

29. New York Times, March 27, 1949. 

30. The Nation, September 21, 1948. 

3 1 . Soviet Literature, No. 4, 1950, Moscow. 

32. See article, "Literary Tightrope Walking in the U.S.S.R.," by Vera San- 
domirsky, in Antioch Review, Winter 1950-51. 

33. References to first four authors, New York Times, December 26, 1948; 
last three, The Nation, February 11, 1948. 

34. Time, February 19, 1951. 

35. New York Times, July 3 1, 1949. 

36. Ibid., October 9, 1949. 

37. See Inkeles, chaps. 16-18. 

38. Counts and Lodge, Country, p. 144. 

39. Pravda, January 31, 1950, quoted by Current Digest. 

40. Eisenstein died two years later. 

41. Pravda, July 6, 1950, quoted in New Leader, October 30, 1950. 

42. Literaturnaya Gazeta, New Year's Issue, 1949, quoted in Foreign Affairs, 
July 1950. 

43. New York Herald Tribune, December 15, 1949. 

Chapter 6 


1. Lea, I, 555. 

2. Coulton, The Inquisition (New York, 1929), p. 74. See also Durant, chap. 
28, for a review of the early Inquisition. With slight exceptions I have 
followed Catholic sources in my description. See Catholic Encyclopedia, 
** Inquisition." 

3. Lea describes methods of torture in detail (Vol. I, pp. 421 ff., 553), giving 
a table of costs for the burning of four heretics in 1323. 

4. Catholic Encyclopedia, See also Lea, I, 215. 

5. History of England, chap. 1, p. 47. 

6. Bouscarcn and Ellis, p. 71 1 . 

7. Marshall reprints the Syllabus of Errors. 


8. The original statement in Civilta Cattolica (XCIX, 29 ff.) was reprinted 
in part in Time, June 28, 1948. Father Murray's criticism of it, and the two 
quotations from Razon y Fe, CXXXIV (1946), 148-171, and Razon y Fe 
(1948), 518-539, are contained in a valuable article by Father Murray in 
Theological Studies, September 1949. Father Murray's somewhat liberal 
views do not seem to represent the Vatican, and his most reactionary critic, 
Father Francis J. Connell, has recently been made dean of the School of 
Sacred Theology of the Catholic University in Washington. 

9. Freedom of Worship (Paulist Press), p. 10. This revealing pamphlet is 
reprinted in Stokes, Vol. Ill, Appendix V. 

10. Quoted by Robert Duffus, in New York Times, July 20, 1947. 

11. Catholic Register, June 19, 1949. 

12. Page 143. Published by Sheed and Ward, New York, 1927. 

13. London Times, October 28, 1949. 

14. Bouscaren and Ellis, p. 71 1. 

15. 1950, p. 504. This Almanac has a good summary of Church law on 
censorship. See also the Catholic Encyclopedia, "Censorship." 

16. Index, p. 139. 

17. Budenz, Story, p. 187. 

18. Howell Smith, p. 799. 

19. See Catholic Encyclopedia, "Censorship," and also "Modernism"; also 
Bouscaren and Ellis, pp. 734, 735, for requirements concerning the anti- 
modernist oath. An interesting contemporary account of the modernist 
battle against Pius X is Modernism, by A. Leslie Lilly, Charles Scribner's 
Sons, 1908. Professor La Piana has eloquently told the story of Ernesto 
Buonaiuti in the Harvard Divinity School Bulletin for June 3, 1947. 

20. Atlantic Monthly, January 1948. 

21. Christian Crisis (The Macmillan Company, 1940), p. 163. 

22. Bouscaren and Ellis, p. 713. 

23. See the 1950 articles by Sam Pope Brewer in the New York Times. 

24. New York Times, October 16, 1949, and February 8, 1951. 

25. There is a startling inconsistency between the standards imposed on motion 
pictures in the United States and in European countries by Catholic censor- 
ship agencies. Since there is no central Index for undesirable films, many 
pictures which are praised by Catholic critics in one country are banned 
by Catholic censors in another. 

26. Lea, III, 613. 

27. Editor and Publisher, August 12, 3950. 

Chapter 7 


,1. Chamberlin, Soviet Russia, pp. 286-87. 

2. Sorokin, pp. 144 ff. 

3. See an important article in the American Sociological Ri>view of August 
1950 by Alex Inkeles, "Social Stratification and Mobility in the Soviet 
Union: 1 940-1 95Q." The fee for attendance in the eighth, ninth, and tenth 
grades in Moscow is 200 rubles a year; for higher grades, 400 rubles. The 
official exchange rate is about four rubles to the dollar. 

NOTES 323 

4. Inkeles, p. 262. 

5. Modern Nationalism and Religion, p. 96. 

6. As translated in Gury's Doctrines of the Jesuits, p. 607. 

7. National statistics on illiteracy are not always reliable or comparable. The 
Encyclopedia Britannica Year Book, 1950, using the latest available figures 
from national governments, puts the illiteracy rate in Portugal at 54%; 
Spain 46%; and Southern Italy "the great majority." UNESCO's latest 
figures, summarized in the National Education Association Journal for 
December 1950, show an illiteracy proportion in Brazil of 57%; Chile 
28%; Colombia 44%; Peru 57%; Venezuela 57%; pre-revolutionary 
Poland 23%. A few predominantly Catholic countries in the world are 
able to boast a low illiteracy rate, e.g. Belgium 8%; Ireland 12%; and 
Hungary 15%. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the predom- 
inantly Protestant countries of Europe Denmark, Germany, the Nether- 
lands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Great Britain have less than 
one-half of 1 per cent illiteracy. Illiteracy estimates for the United States 
have not been brought up to date recently 4% is probably a maximum 

8. See Timasheff, p. 210. 

9. Fischer, Why They Behave Like Russians, p. 64. 

10. Quoted by Counts and Lodge, Country, p. 263. 

11. Address by A. G. Kalashnikov, "Thirty Years of Soviet Education," Mos- 
cow, 1947, quoted by Counts and Lodge, Country, pp. 262 ff. 

12. The Catholic canon law on education, in rough translation of the Latin 
text in Codex luris Canonici, reads as follows: 

Canon 1372, 

All the faithful should be instructed in such a way, from early youth, 
that nothing should be taught them which is contrary to the Catholic 
religion; and honest customs and religious and moral instruction should 
have a particular place. Not only the parents but those who according to 
paragraph 1113 act in their place have the right and the serious duty to 
care for Christian education. 

Canon 1373 

In every elementary school, religious instruction should be imparted to 
children according to their age. Children attending middle and higher 
schools should receive a more perfect instruction in religious doctrine, and 
those responsible for religious leadership in that place should see that it 
is carried out by priests notable for their zeal and instruction. 

Canon 1374 

Catholic children must not attend non-Catholic, neutral, or mixed 
schools, that is, such as are also open to non-Catholics. It is for the bishop 
of the place alone to decide, according to the instructions of the Apostolic 
See, in what circumstances and with what precautions attendance at such 
schools may be tolerated, without danger of perversion to the pupils. 

Canon 1375 

The Church has the right to create schools of all types, not only ele- 
mentary ones but middle and higher schools as well. 

Canon 1376 

Only the Holy See has the right to create a Catholic university or faculty. 
A Catholic university or faculty, even if founded by a religious order, 
must have its statutes approved by the Holy See. 


Canon 1377 

Nobody has the right to confer academic degrees valid for the Church if 
he has not obtained the right from the Holy See. 

Canon 1378 

Doctors of ecclesiastical science have the right to wear, except during 
the holy functions, a ring with a stone and a doctor's hat. Besides, those 
prescriptions have to be followed which state that for certain offices and 
functions those who have obtained a degree or a license are to be preferred, 
under equal conditions and according to the judgment of the bishop. 

Canon 1379 

In places where there are no Catholic schools, neither elementary nor 
middle schools, it must be seen to, especially by the bishop, that they 
are founded. In the same way, where there are no Catholic universities, 
it is to be wished that in that nation or region Catholic universities should 
be founded. The faithful should not fail to give their help for the founda- 
tion and maintenance of Catholic schools. 

Canon 1380 

It is to be wished that the bishop should send clerics who excel in piety 
and mental ability to universities or faculties founded or approved by the 
Church, to study philosophy, theology, and ecclesiastic law and to obtain 
the degrees. 

Canon 1381 

The religious instruction of children is, in all schools, subject to the 
inspection and authority of the Church. It is the right and the duty of the 
bishop to watch that in the schools of his territory nothing should be 
taught or nothing happen which is against faith and good morals. The same 
authorities have the right to approve books and religious instructors; and 
they may for religious and moral reasons remove teachers or books. 

Canon 1382 

The bishops or their delegates may visit all schools, oratories, places of 
recreation, and service as well as religious and moral institutions. Non- 
religious schools are exempt from these visitations except internal schools 
of religious orders. 

13. Five Great Encyclicals; also in Husslein, II, 87 ff. 

14. Bouscaren and Ellis, p. 74. 

15. Page 201. 

16. Gibbons, I, 252. 

17. Current History, August 1929, p. 849. 

18. Emmet Hughes, p. 66. 

19. Husslein, II, 383 ff. 

20. The Catholic bishops of the United Slates in their official statement on 
education, November 18, 1950 (New York Times, November 19), said: 
"We protest in the strongest possible terms against the introduction of sex 
instruction into the schools." They also said: "Fathers and mothers have 
a natural competence to instruct their children with regard to sex." 

21. May 3, 1948. 

22. Page 40. 

23. New York Times, December 19, 1949. 

24. Catholic Encyclopedia, "Sociology," as quoted by Williams, pp. 90, 95. 

NOTES 325 

25. History of Western Philosophy, p. 475. 

26. Ruth Karpf in The Nation, January 1, 1949. 

27. Binchy, p. 456. 

28. September 4, 1949. 

29. New York Times, July 4, 1950. 

30. As quoted in the Brooklyn Tablet, November 2, 1948. 

31. New York Times, January 26, 1949. 

32. Page 118. 

33. The address was quoted in the New Republic of June 26, 1950. 

34. New York Times, May 30, 1950, dispatch by Michael Clark. 

35. The British Catholic Directory for 1951 claimed 2,808,596 Catholics in 
Great Britain at the end of 1949, but this does not include continental 
Catholic refugees, who may bring the total to 3,000,000. 

36. Brooklyn Tablet, November 12, 1949. The Catholic case may be found 
in America, April 23, 1949, and December 3, 1949; and in an America 
pamphlet, The Right to Educate; also in the Brooklyn Tablet, December 
10, 1949. 

37. February 24, 1950. 

38. Foltz, p. 110. 

Chapter 8 

1. The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism, p. 185. 

2. Pages 114-15. 

3. Rossi, p. 171. 

4. Gitlow, p. 237. 

5. Budenz, p. 99. 

6. Crux Ansata, p. 137. 

7. Constitution of the Jesuits, par. vi, cap. 1, sec. 1. 

8. Bouscaren, Digest, 1, 315. An English translation of "Canonical Legislation 
Concerning Religious" is obtainable in pamphlet form from Libreria 
Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City. 

9. Volume X, "Mortification." 

10. The Listener (B.B.C), June 8, 1950. 

11. Dallin, p. 239 (and other sources). The Cheka, organized in December 
J917, became the O.G.P.U. and the O.G.P.U. became the N.K.V.D. in 
1934. The N.K.V.D. became the M.V.D. in March 1946. 

12. Deutscher, p. 380. Souvarine estimates that Stalin, after the murder of 
Kirov, "sent some 100,000 innocent inhabitants of Leningrad" to Asia. 

13. Dallin. (chap. 11) gives several estimates of the forced-labor totals in the 
Soviet Union, ranging as high as 15 to 20 million. Most estimates are 
considerably below that figure, but there is no doubt that the number of 
prisoners in the forced-labor camps is prodigious. Harry Schwartz, in 
the New York Times of December 17, 1950, described a Soviet document 
recently made public by the State Department, "State Plan for the De- 
velopment of the National Economy of the U.S.S.R. in 1941," which 
showed that the N.K.V.D. (now the M.V.D.) was one of the chief em- 
ployers and producers in the nation. The report indicated that at that 
time the slave labor in this miniature police state within the police state 
of the Soviet Union produced one-sixth of the total new construction in 
the nation, and about 2 per cent of all industrial production. 


14. Life, September 26, 1949. The quotation from John Scott's article is re- 
printed by permission of the author and Life. 

15. The God That Failed, p. 106. 

16. Professor E. K. Francis of Notre Dame, in a valuable analysis of Catholic 
religious orders in the American Journal of Sociology for March 1950, 
says: "The Jesuits are not so much brethren as comrades-at-arms, some- 
times described as a corps of officers destined to lead the people's army of 
the militant church." 

17. New York Times, October 16, 1949. 

18. The official doctrine, on page 130 of the Catechism, declares that the 
phrase "Outside the Church there is no salvation" applies with full severity 
only to "those who through their own grave fault do not know that the 
Catholic Church is the true Church or, knowing it, refuse to join it." The 
Catechism adds: "Those who are outside the Church through no fault 
of their own are not culpable in the sight of God because of their invincible 
ignorance." The American Church is embarrassed by this rule, which 
penalizes honest intellectuals who have studied the Catholic point of view 
and rejected it. The Massachusetts hierarchy expelled Father Leonard 
Feeney of Cambridge in the famous Boston heresy case of 1949 for insist- 
ing upon its literal interpretation. Actually, there is no doubt that Father 
Feeney was technically correct in his interpretation of Catholic law, but 
the Vatican has created enough loopholes in its rules to allow some charity 
for all but willful opponents. For the Catholic side of this controversy, see 
America, April 30, 1949; for Father Feeney's point of view, see The 
Loyolas and the Cabots, by Catherine Goddard Clarke (Ravensgate Press, 
Boston, 1950). 

19. Alia Chiesa Credo, ai Protestanti No!, by P. Vittorio Genovesi, SJ. The 
subtitle is "Catechismo Cattolico Antiprotestantico." It was published in 
1949 in Pompeii and distributed by P. Armando Jue, SJ., Via S. Sebas- 
tiano 48, Naples, Imprimatur Robertas Ronca. According to Canon 2314 
(Bouscaren and Ellis, p. 861), any Catholic who joins a non-Catholic 
sect is "ipso facto infamous." 

20. The Catholic rules of exclusion summarized in this paragraph are con- 
tained in the following canons and commentary, as published in Bouscaren 
and Ellis: (1) Protestant Bible, Canon 1399, p. 726; (2) Protestant 
religious service, Canon 1258, p. 646 ("It is illicit for Catholics in any 
way to assist actively or take part in sacred worship of non-Catholics"); 
(3) Protestant book of exposition, Canon 1399, p. 728; (4) same as 2; 
(5) Protestant marriage, Canon 1063, p. 462; (6) Protestant school, 
Canon 1374, p. 704. 

21. Canon 1060 reads: "The Church everywhere most severely forbids the 
contracting of marriage between two baptized persons of whom one is a 
Catholic whereas the other is a member of a heretical or schismatic sect." 

22. This rule is based on Canon 1258. America of July 1, 1950, gives several 
illustrations of the fine distinctions imposed upon baccalaureate services 
because of the rule. 

23. The full text of the Vatican ruling against American Rotary Clubs was 
published in Osservatore Romano, January 12, 1951, and in the Denver 
Catholic Register in English translation, January 21, 1951. The key 
sentence reads: "Members of the clergy may not belong to the Rotary Club 
association or take part in its meetings; laymen are to be urged to observe 

NOTES 327 

'the provisions of Canon 684 of canon law." Canon 684 reads: "The faith- 
ful deserve praise when they join associations which have been erected, or 
at least recommended by the Church. They should beware of associations 
which are secret, condemned, seditious, or suspected, and of those which 
strive to withdraw themselves from the legitimate supervision of the 
Church." The earlier (and milder) ruling against Rotary Clubs was dated 
February 4, 1929, and is printed in Bouscaren, I, 617. 

24. Catholic News, January 13, 1951. 

25. Perhaps the best recent description of the working of this rule is in a 
series of articles by Winfred Ernest Garrison in the Christian Century, 
fall of 1950, partially summarized in Time, November 13, 1950. 

26. Catholic Encyclopedia, "Excommunication," divides victims into two classes 
the tolerati, or excommunicated persons whom the faithful are not 
obliged to avoid; and the vitandi, who must be shunned "either in regard 
to sacred things or (to a certain extent) profane matters." The rule con- 
cerning the digging up of bones is in Canons 1172 and 1175 (Bouscaren 
and Ellis, pp. 595-96). 

27. See Appendix for excerpts from the concordat. 

28. July 5, 1950, p. 169. 

29. Rossi, p. 167. 

30. No. 47, 1950, p. 31. 

31. Political Affairs. 

32. Issue of March 21, 1950, from Current Digest, Vol. II, No. 12, p. 41. 

Chapter 9 


1. Quoted by David Spitz, Antioch Review, Winter 1949-50. 

2. Chamberlin, Soviet Russia, p. 89. 

3. Lenin, Religion, p. 47. 

4. See Barghoorn, chap. 3, "The American War Effort." 

5. Counts and Lodge, / Want, p. 62. 

6. Quoted from Pravda of May 9, 1949, in Foreign Affairs, July 1950, p. 631. 

7. See The Nation, August 21, 1948; and N. S. Timasheff, in Russian Re- 
view, July 1949. 

8. Komsomolskaya Pravda, January 9, 1949, cited by N. S. Timasheff, In 
Russian Review, July 1 949. 

9. The Clark estimate was in the New York Times, August 21, 1949; the 
1947 Times figures were by Will Lissner, and were summarized in Time, 
December 29, 1947. 

10. New York Herald Tribune, November 4, 1949. 

1 1. Stalin, Problems of Leninism, p. 571. 

12. Walter Ktsrr, The Rtmian Army, p. 7. 

13. American Sociological Review, August 1950. 

14. Pravda, January 16, 1 949, in Current Digest, Vol. I, No. 3, p. 49. 

15. Daily Worker, December 12, 1949, 

16. No, 2, 1948, quoted by W. W. Kulski, in Foreign Affairs, July 1950. 

17. The Listener (B.E.C.), March 30, 1950. 
IS. New York Times, September 25, 1949. 

19. Peter Viercck in the appendix of his Conservatism Revisited has docu- 
mented this new anti-Semitic trend. 


20. New York Times, February 17, 1951. 

21. New Yor^Herald Tribune, Joseph Newman, November 7, 1949. 

22. See Barghoorn, p. 201 ; and N. S. Timasheff, in Russian Review, July 1949. 

23. Selected Works (Russian edition), X, 51, quoted in Political Affairs, 
January 1950. 

24. Pravda, January 16, 1949, in Current Digest, Vol. I, No. 3, p. 49. 

25. Lenin, Selected Works, II, 322. 

26. New York Times, December 19, 1949. 

27. Nazi-Soviet Relations. For the following quotations see pp. 78, 91-95, 154. 
For Hitler conversation, pp. 226 ff. See also a recent work by A. Rossi, 
The Russo-German Alliance, Beacon Press, 1951. 

28. Dallin, p. 90. 

28a. Quoted by Philip Mosely, Current History, XV, 131. See also article by 
Robert G. Neumann, in Review of Politics, April 1949. 

29. Background Information on the Soviet Union in International Relations, 
Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, 1950. 

30. New York Times, October 14, 1949. 

31. See Mikolajczyk, The Rape of Poland. 

32. The God That Failed, p. 37. 

3 3 . New York Times, August 7, 1 948. 

34. Moscow's New Times, No. 47 (1950), announced signatures up to No- 
vember 1950 of 223,500,000 in China; 16,884,787 in Italy; 6,000,000 in 
Japan; and "one in every three voters" in Vienna. 

35. New York Times, April 24, 1949. 

36. Daily Worker, May 3 1, 1948. 

37. New York Times, February 27, 1949. 

38. Ibid., August 18, 1950. 

39. See Dallin, chap. 6, and Moore, chap. 10. 

40. JiwtMay 11, 1949. 

41. Timasheff, chap. 8, has an extended discussion of the new family values, 
and Berman has a chapter on "Law and the Family." 

42. Current Digest article by A. S. Makarenko, quoted by Jerry Tallmer, in 
The Nation, November 26, 1949. 

43. Current Digest, September 13, 1949, quoted in The Nation. 

44. Dallin, p. 104. 

45. W. W. Kulski in Foreign Affairs, July 1950; and Berman, p. 242. 

46. New York Herald Tribune report summarized in Catholic News, July 12, 

47. America, August 20, 1949. 

48. March 9, 1947, for the National Council of Catholic Men. 

49. Page 382. 

50. Mazour, pp. 97-98. 

Chapter 10 


1 . In his encyclical on Human Liberty, Paulist Press, p. 25. 

2. La Piana, p. 82, 

3. The syndicated series began in the Catholic News of November 13, 1948; 
the quoted article was No, 8 in the series. 

4. -Pages 5-9. 

NOTES 329 

5. Page 113. 

6. Gibbons, I, 231. 

7. This is quoted on page 17 of a valuable study, "Religion and Civil Liberty 
in the Roman Catholic Tradition," by Winfred Ernest Garrison, in Church 
History, October 1946. 

8. October 1950. 

9. The Catholic Spirit in America, p. 155. 

10. Marshall's open letter was in the Atlantic Monthly of April 1927; Smith's 
reply in the issue of May 1927; and Marshall's rejoinder of April 17, 
1927, was printed in a small book by Charles C. Marshall, published by 
Dodd, Mead and Company in 1928, Governor Smith's American Catholi- 
cism. The best statement of Marshall's case, however, is in his 1931 work, 
The Roman Catholic Church in the Modern State. 

11. This claim was made many times in 1950, when Italian liberals were at- 
tempting to persuade the Chamber of Deputies to face the scandalous 
divorce situation in Italy, under which literally millions of Italians are 
living in extra-marital unions because they cannot legally terminate mar- 
riages which have already been discarded in fact. 

12. Five Great Encyclicals, p. 96. 

13. 1949 edition, p. 132. 

14. 1949 edition, pp. 133, 174. 

15. Henry Morton Robinson, in his novel The Cardinal, presents a caricature 
of Marshall under the name of Hubbell K. Whiteman, and pretends that 
Marshall distorted the Catholic position on church and state by representing 
the Pope "as a foreign suzerain with the final word over American affairs." 
Actually Marshall was scrupulously careful to point out that the doctrine 
of the two powers of the Church "makes the Roman Catholic Church 
at times sovereign and paramount over the State." 

16. Page 101. Father Ross also says on page 93: "Furthermore the Pope's 
infallible authority does not extend to temporal subjects. Since it is 
restricted to what has been revealed in Scripture or in Tradition it has 
no power of new revelation." This appears to be a purely verbal and 
imaginary limitation upon the Pope's powers in view of the recent promul- 
gation of the doctrine that the body of the Virgin Mary has been taken up 
literally into heaven. The "tradition" in this case was merely rumor. 

17. Text in Catholic Almanac, 1949, pp. 86 ff.; also in New York Times, 
November 21, 1948. 

18. America's attack on the McCoIlum decision was in the issue of May 21, 
1949; the editor's criticism of Professor O'Neill was in the issue of April 
23, 1949. Butts has valuable material on this subject, and Moehlman's 
new study of this field offers a complete refutation of O'Neill. Leo Pfeffer, 
writing in the Columbia Law Review for January 1950, scores "the lack 
of legal training" of O'Neill and criticizes his analysis of the First Amend- 
ment as "permeated with blind spots, unsubstantiated assertions, contra- 
dictions and quotations dismembered from context." O'Neill's book in 
manuscript was used by the appellees in the McCoIlum case, and the 
Supreme Court rejected its arguments in favor of Jefferson's wall of 
separation between church and state. 

19. See American Freedom and Catholic Power, chap. 5. 

20. Catholic Newx, July 2, 1949. 

2 1 . New York Times, J uly 1 1 , 1 949, 

22. Page 682. 


23. American Ecclesiastical Review, August 1950, study by Father Alfred C. 

24. September 26, 1950. 

25. Perhaps the most striking free publicity was in Life, which headed its 
15-page spread with the streamer: "The Search for the Bones of St. Peter; 
Vatican Diggings Have Already Led to Startling Finds." The New York 
Times of April 9, 1 950, was relatively almost as generous. 

26. The following biblical verses have been cited by Catholic authorities as 
supporting evidence for the doctrines listed. Nearly all of them are taken 
from Volume II of The Teaching of the Catholic Church, edited by Canon 
George D. Smith, and published under official Imprimatur in 1949 by 

Purgatory. Matthew 12:32. 1 Peter 3:19. 1 Corinthians 15:29. John 

Infallibility of the Pope. Matthew 16:18-19; 18:18-20. John 21:15. 

Divorce. Mark 10:2-12. Luke 16:18. Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-12. 
1 Corinthians 7: 10-15. Genesis 2:24. 

Priestly control of marriage. Ephesians 5:25-32. Genesis 1:28. 1 
Corinthians 7:3, 10-15. 

Indulgences. Matthew 16:19; 18: 18. John 20:21-23. Ephesians 1:7. 

Birth Control. Genesis 38:7-30; 1:28. 

Coercive Power of the Papacy. Matthew 16:18-19; 18:15-20. 1 
Corinthians 5:1-15. Acts 15:28-29. 1 Corinthians 7:10-15. Romans 13:1. 
Matthew 22:21. 

27. See American Freedom and Catholic Power, chaps. 6, 7. 

Chapter 1 1 


1. Lenin, Selected Works, II, 322. 

2. See Mikolajczyk; and also Armstrong. 

3. See Gunther; also "Marxism in Action," by Paul E. Zinner, in Foreign 
Affairs, July 1950; also two articles by Stephen D. Kertesz, in World 
Politics, April and July, 1950. 

4. See article, "The Methods of Communist Conquest: Hungary," by Stephen 
D. Kertesz, World Politics, October 1950. 

5. Rossi, Gitlow, and Budenz all discuss these phases of Communist strategy. 

6. Rossi, p. 200. Reprinted by permission of Yale University Press. 

7. September 6, 1947. 

8. See Mosely, special issue of the Annals, an indispensable summary of 
post-war developments in eastern Europe. I am indebted to the article by 
C. E. Block for the names cited. See also the Review of Politics, April 
1949, for an article, "United States Foreign Policy and the Satellites/' by 
Robert G. Neumann, 

9. In West Germany and Austria, Communist, Socialist, and Catholic union 
members are all in the same federations together. Adolf Sturmthal has 
summarized many of the facts about European labor unions in an article, 
"Democratic Socialism in Europe," in World Politics, October 1950. 

10. Official LC.F.T.U* Report, November-December 1949, London. Permanent 
headquarters, 24 Rue du Lombard, Brussels, 

11, An interesting summary of such tactics then and now was made in a series 

NOTES 331 

of articles by Fendall Yerxa and Ogden R. Reid in the New York Herald 
Tribune, beginning November 29, 1950. 

Chapter 12 


1. United Nations World, October 1949. 

2. Annuario Pontifico, 1950, pp. 825-47. I have subtracted diplomatic 

3. Even today, when the Vatican has the world's smallest official state, the 
Holy See does not offer to step down from a position of seniority which 
it gained during the days of the Papal States in Italy. If the United States 
granted full recognition and received a Papal Nuncio in return, this Nuncio 
would be the head of the diplomatic corps in Washington. 

4. Sweden recognized that the Vatican is the chief power blocking a Jerusa- 
lem settlement by officially appealing to the Holy See on December 6, 

1950, to change its policy. See New York Times, December 8, 1950. 
4a. See Stokes, II, 88-90; III, 910. 

5. Professor La Piana in The Nation, May 4, 1946, also lists the concordats 
of the Vatican with Latvia in 1922 and Lithuania in 1927, and declares 
that the 1928 concordat with Poland was "the most favorable ever obtained 
by the Church in any country." For a general discussion of concordats, 
see Catholic Encyclopedia, "Concordat." For a list of concordats of Pius 
XI, see His Holiness Pope Pius XI by Monsignor Fontenelle, p. 192. 

6. See Manhattan, chap. 9. Sprigge's description of the rise of modern Italy 
is notable. Salvemini and La Piana have written what is probably the 
best summary of the Vatican and the post-war Italian political situation. 
See also The Nation, December 11, 1948; and a series of articles by Percy 
Winner in the New Republic, beginning November 7, 1949. 

7. November 11, 1949. 

8. Wright, pp. 76 ff., has an excellent description of M.R.P. methods of 
operation in recent years. 

9. The Nation, February 17, 1951. 

1 0, The quotations in this paragraph are taken respectively from the Brooklyn 
Tablet of March 17, 1951, and from the New York Times of February 8, 

1951. A good description of Franco's tactics in "consolidating" Spain 
politically with the help of the clergy can be found in Foltz. 

1 1 , New York Times, April 5, 1950. 

1 2, In World Politics, October 1 948. 

13, New York Times, August 1, 1949. For anyone familiar with papal pro- 
nouncements on Socialism, this is a little hard to swallow. Pius XI in his 
encyclical Reconstructing the Social Order, after praising the moderate 
tendencies of some Socialists, still concluded: "We pronounce as follows: 
whether Socialism be considered as a doctrine, or as a historical fact, or 
as a movement, if it really remain Socialism, it cannot be brought into 
harmony with the dogmas of the Catholic Church, even after it has yielded 
to truth and justice in the points We have mentioned; the reason being 
that it conceives human society in a way utterly alien to Christian truth." 
Five Great Encyclicals, p. 157. 

14, Sec Siilvemini and La Piana, chap. 5. The Catholic writer William Teel- 
ing, in his Pope Pius XI and World Affairs, p. 121, says: "The Church 


denied, not once but a hundred times, that the Popular Party was actually 
the Catholic Party, but for all practical purposes this was the case." 
Teeling believes that Pius XI, because he "considered Socialism only the 
vanguard of Communism," jettisoned Don Sturzo's movement to avoid a 
possible Socialist-Catholic alliance in Italy. 

15. Catholic Register, April 4, 1948. 

16. Binchy, p. 497. 

17. Catholic Register, August 7, 1949. 

18. See New York Times, August 1, 1949; and Helen Booth, in The Nation, 
Octobers, 1949. 

19. New York Times, October 2, 1947. 

20. In his Reconstructing the Social Order (printed in Five Great Encyclicals, 
p. 150), Pius XI neatly avoided clear commitments, but the meaning of 
his recommendation was that the fascist corporative organizations were 
worthy of support if they were partially directed by Catholic Action, He 
definitely praised "repression of Socialist organizations and efforts." 

21. This was admitted by leaders of the organization when I visited their 
international headquarters in Utrecht in October 1950. It was also brought 
into the open by the Dutch labor leader, A. Vermeulen, in Geneva in 
January 1949, at a conference of the International Labor Organization. 
Vermeulen charged that the policy of the Dutch Catholic bishops was in 
violation of the principle of free association of the LL.O.'s charter. The 
practice was described by Faith Williams in a general review of Catholic 
unions in Europe in the Monthly Labor Review of the Department of 
Labor, December 1949. 

22. De Vakbewegmg, April 5, 1949. 

23. Official Report, p. 65. 

24. Catholic Almanac, 1949, p. 441. 

25. New York Daily Compass, November 27, 1949. 

26. Wright, p. 105. 

Chapter 13 

1. J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated the 
number of Communist Party members in the United States at 55,000 on 
May 2, 1950 (New York Times, May 3, 1950). The number of Catholics 
in the United States is, in round figures, 27,000,000. Even if we concede 
that half of the baptized Catholics pay no attention to their Church, and 
that there are ten times as many sympathizers with Communism as Party 
members, Catholic power still outweighs Communist power in the United 
States by about 25 to 1. 

2. This is true of Italy today; and it was true of Hungary before the Com- 
munist conquest, and of Mexico before the revolution. 

3. Foreign Affairs, April 1951. 

4. Boston Herald, August 2, 1950. 

5. Quoted by Philip Mosely, in Current History, XV, 131. 


Abortions, therapeutic, 206, 241 

Academic freedom: in Catholic 
schools, 151; in Soviet Union, 137 

Acton, Lord, 212 

Adenauer, Konrad, 272 

Agitators, Communist, 35, 137 

Agitator's Guidebook, 31, 35 

Albania, 72 

Albigenses, 106 

Almond, Gabriel, 275 

American Ecclesiastical Review, 79 

American Federation of Labor, 255 

American Labor Party, 255 

American Textile Company, 130 

Americanism, 4 

Anti-Catholicism, 228, 296 

Anti-modernist oath, 122, 322 

Anti-religion, 8 

Anti-science, 233 

Apostolic Delegates, 264, 266 

Aquinas, Saint Thomas, 110, 137, 148, 

Argentina, 128 213 

Ashby, Eric, 83 

Asia, 297 

Association of Catholic Trade Union- 
ists, 284 

Assumption of Virgin Mary, 119, 238- 

Atheism, 151 

Atheistic Communism, 12 

Atlantic Monthly, 123, 220 

Atomic bomb, 261 

Augustine, Saint, 106 

Austria, 270, 279 

Avignon, 52 

Baccalaureate services, 176 
Bagger, PAtgcnc, 215 

Baltic States, 13 

Baltimore, Council of, 63, 143 

Barden, Graham, 229 

Barden bill, 230 

Barghoorn, Frederick C., ix 

Bari, Italy, 236 

Bedoyere, Michael de la, 123 

Belgian Catholic Party, 23 1 

Belgium, 153, 155, 213, 224, 231, 267, 

270-271, 273 

Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 250 
Bellarmine, Robert Cardinal, 110 
Benedict XV, Pope, 12, 60, 270 
Benes, Eduard, 248 
Beria, L. P., 74 
Berle, Adolf, 297 
Berlin, 5, 188 
Bernhart, Joseph, 54 
Bible, 45, 175, 240 
Bidault, Georges, 271 
Binchy, D. A., 278 
Birth control, 1 19, 208, 285 
Bishops, Catholic: appointment of, 63; 

public statements of, 215-216, 324 
Blotzen, Rev. Joseph, 1 10 
Bohemia, 235 
Bolsheviks, 11, 12 
Bolshevism, 7 ff. 
Boniface VIII, Pope, 46 
Bouscarcn, T. Lincoln, 61 
Brewer, Sam Pope, 127 
Bridges, Harry, 257 
British Labor Party, 273 
Brooklyn Tablet, 219 
Brothers of Christian Schools, 58, 222 
Browder, Earl, 39, 204, 256 
Brownson, Orestes, 218 
Budapest, 192 

Butlcnz, Louis F,, 1 18, 162, 163 
Buffalo, University of, 149 
Bulgaria, 13, 250 
Buonaiuti, Ernesto, 121, 220 
Burbank, Luther, 92 




Cains, 52 

Calvin, John, 106 

Canada, 245 

Canon law, 60; on education, 323-324 

Canonization of saints, 80 ff., 167 

Cardenas, Lazaro, 145 

Cardinal The, 241, 329 

Cardinals, 49, 54-55, 77 

Catechism, 58-59, 142, 147 

Catholic Action, 14, 179, 231, 271- 

Catholic Almanac, 56 
Catholic Church: and national 

churches, 15; bishops of, 63, 215- 
J 216; courts of, 62; democracy in, 

58; General Councils of, 51, 57; 

government of, 49 ff.; in eastern 

Europe, 13, 17; in Tsarist Russia, 8; 

laymen of, 61, 122; membership of, 

6, 316-317 
Catholic Encyclopedia, 57, 109-110, 

167, 239 

Catholic Index, 1 16 if. ,275 
Catholic international, 274 
Catholic parties, 296 
Catholic people, 4, 51, 110 
Catholic Popular Party (Italy), 273, 


Catholic press, 79 
Catholic Register, 270, 278 
Catholic schools: in Catholic law, 61; 

in Europe, 153 ff., 274; in Hungary, 

18; in United States, 58 
Censorship: external, 125; in Italy, 

117; internal, 115; of books, 107, 

116, 126, 146; of education, 144; of 

films, 125, 322 
Chamberlin, W. H., 184 
Chaplains, 176 
Charlemagne, 46-47 
Chiaurelli, M., 73 
Chicherin, G. V., 12 
China, 16, 100; Communists in, 87, 

100, 201; labor in, 255 
Christian Century, 216 
Christian Democrat Party (Italy), 20, 

Christian Democratic Union (West 

Germany), 272, 279 
Churchill, Wirustcm, 204 
CiviltaCattQlica, 111, 112, 179 
Clark, Colin, 187 

Classes, social: in Soviet Union, 86, 
187; in Tsarist Russia, 24 

Clement of Rome, 52 

Columbia University, 6 

Cominform, 26, 40 ff., 54, 245, 291 

Comintern, 38 ff. 

Communism: and Catholicism, 6; and 
Pius XI, 12; international organiza- 
tion of, as religion, 65; strength of, 
in Italy, 20 

Communist cells, 250; in labor unions, 

Communist control of labor, 255, 258- 

Communist fronts, 198 ff,, 260 

Communist international 38 

Communist parties: and dictatorship, 
85; and intelligentsia, 28; Central 
Committee of, 36, 96; discipline of, 
161 ff.; in Soviet Union, 26 ff., 31, 
33; in United States, 39, 72, 198, 
204; membership of, 16, 34 

Communist penetration, 250-251; into 
social units, 259-260 

Concordats: between Vatican and 
Mussolini, 13, 55, 150, 178, 211, 
222, 304-306; official, 268 ff.; with 
Rumania, 15 

Confederation Internationale des Syn- 
dicats Chr6tiens, 281, 291 

Congress for Cultural Freedom, 5 

Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
255, 257 

Congress of Vienna, 265 

Connell, Rev. Francis JU 113, 114, 322 

Conscience, 217 

Constance, Council of, 47, 58 

Constantine, Emperor, 45 

Constitutions: of Soviet Union, 27 ff.; 
of United States, 213, 220, 225, 227 

Containment, American policy of, 292 

Cosmopolitanism, 189 

Counter-reformation, 47 

Counts, George S, 94, 1 37 

Croatia, IS 

Croce, Benedetto, 118 

Gushing, Richard C., Archbishop, 80, 

Cyrankiewicz, Joseph, 253-254 

Czechoslovakia, 13, 15, 20, 139, 244, 



Dailey, Kenneth, ix 

Daily Worker, 118, 188 

Dale, Sir Henry, 95 

Darling, Edward, ix 

Darwin, Charles, 69 

Davidson, Basil, 272 

DeGaulle, Charles, General, 271 

Deification, techniques of, 65 ff. 

Democratic centralism, 38 

Democracy, 2, 3, 5; and Pius XII, 128; 
Catholic attitude toward, 218; in 
Catholic Church, 58; in Soviet 
Union, 27 ff., 188 

Deutscher, Isaac, 210 

Dewey, John, 118 

Dictatorship: Catholic explanation of, 
219; in Soviet Union, 32; of prole- 
tariat, 84, 206; of Vatican and 
Kremlin, 43 

Dirnitrov, Georgi, 245-246 

Divorce: and censorship, 119; con- 
demnation of, 240; in Catholic law, 
61, 62, 214; laws of, 221, 267 

Dogma, 237-238, 241; manipulation 
of, 205 

Dollfuss, Engelbert, 270, 279 

Don Basin, 101 

^Donation of Constantino," 47 

Dougherty, Denis Cardinal, 222 

Duffy, Father, 220 

Duma, Russian, 11, 23, 24 

Djugashvili, Josef. See Stalin 

Education, 131 ff.; canon law on, 141, 

Egolin, A. M., 89 

Egypt, 266 
Biscnstejn, Sergei, 102 

Elections: as Communist strategy, 247; 

in Italy (1948), 22, 63, 271; in 

Soviet Union* 30 
Ellis, Adam C,, 61 

Encyclopedia ftritannica, 44, 48 
Ethiopia, 13 

Evolution, 122, 146, 147 
Excommunication, 19, 327 
Ex-priests, 178 

Fadcycv, Alexander, 99 
Faith and morals, 279 
Falange, 157 
Fascism, 65, 246-247, 253 

Fatherland Front, 270 

Feeney, Rev. Leonard, 326 

Fierlinger, Zdenek, 249, 254 

Finland, 266 

First Amendment (to U. S. Constitu- 
tion), 225-227 

Fischer, John, 136 

Fischer, Louis, 12 

Florinsky, Michael, 11 

Foltz, David, 157 

Forced labor (in Soviet Union), 87, 
171, 172, 325 

Foster, William Z., 203 

France, 16, 20, 117, 134, 148, 153, 
154, 267, 270-271, 273; Communist 
control of labor in, 255; Communist 
penetration in, 250-251 

Franco, Francisco, Generalissimo, 2, 
3, 10, 113-114, 218, 267, 272, 274 

Freedom of speech: in Catholic phi- 
losophy, 113; in Soviet Union, 85 

Freedom of thought, 216 

French Communist Party, 251 

French Revolution, 148 

Galileo, 94-95, 119 

Gasparri, Pietro Cardinal, 144 

Gasperi, Alcide de, 271, 274 

Gelasius I, Pope, 46 

Genetics, 92 ff. 

Genoa Conference, 12 

Georgetown University, 152 

Georgiev, 254 

Germany: East, 13, 139, 188, 244; 

West, 16, 213, 270, 272, 276, 279 
Gibbons, James Cardinal, 143, 217 
Gide, Andre, 72 
Gitlow, Benjamin, 162 
Godden, Rumcr, 164 
Gomulka, Wladyslaw, 186, 245-246 
Gorky, Maxim, 70 
Gottwald, Clement, 245-246 
Graham, Rev. Aclred, 43, 58 
Great Britain, 22, 117, 155, 213, 266; 

Communist penetration in, 250 
Greek Orthodox churches, 1 1 
Green* William, 180 
Gregory VO, Pope, 46 
Gregory IX, Pope, 107 
Griffin, Bernard Cardinal, 157 
Gromyko, Andrei, 260 
Groza, 254 



Gunther, John, 18 
Guthrie, Rev. Hunter, 152 

Hapsburg monarchy, 18 

Heenan, Rev. John C., 217 

Henry IV, Emperor, 46 

Heresy, 106; in Boston, 326 

History: in Soviet Union schools, 41; 

distorted, 209-210 
Hitler, Adolf, 72, 194, 238, 277 
Hitler-Stalin pact, 17, 40, 193 ff., 204, 

Holy Office, 19, 21, 110, 116-117, 142, 

179, 221 

Holy Roman Empire, 48 
Holy Year, 66, 77-78, 80 
Hook, Sidney, 203 
Hoover, J. Edgar, 332 
Hugo, Victor, 118, 134 
Hungary, 13-15, 17, 100, 148, 244, 

247, 248 

Hutchinson, Paul, 216 
Huxley, Julian, 95-96 

Ignatius of Antioch, 52 

Illiteracy, 323; in Catholic countries, 
134; in Soviet Union, 134; in Tsar- 
ist Russia, 133 

Imprimatur, 124 

Independence Party (Hungary), 248 

Independent Labor Party (Great Brit- 
ain), 39 

Index, Catholic, 116 ff., 275 

Indifferentism, 218 

Indulgences, 240 

Infallibility, papal, 46, 52, 58, 59, 68, 
75, 76, 121, 179 

Inkeles, Alex, 188 

Innocent 111, Pope, 44, 108 

Inquisition, 6, 106 ff. 

International Confederation of Free 
Trade Unions, 256, 280 

International Federation of Christian 
Trade Unions, 281 

Ireland, 16, 100, 125, 213, 270 

Ircnaeus, 52 

Israel, 265 

Italy, 3, 16, 20, 55, 63, 117, 119, 
126, 134, 144, 213, 222, 267, 270- 
271, 273; Church of, 235; Com- 
munist control of labor in, 255; 

Communist penetration in, 250; 

Kingdom of, 12, 48, 128, 269; Papal 

States of, 48, 266, 269 
Ivan the Terrible, 184 
Izvestia, 85, 89 

Jacists, 271 

James, William, 159 

Januarius, Saint, 236 

Japan, 22, 146, 186, 194 

Jefferson, Thomas, 226-227, 301 

Jerusalem, internationalization of, 265 

Jesuits, 34, 110-112, 146, 160, 164, 

Jesus Christ, 44, 75, 83, 164 

Jews: and anti-Zionism, 190; and mar- 
riage, 175; in Soviet Union, 181; 
in Tsarist Russia, 24 

Joan of Arc, 130 

Jocists, 271, 284 

Joint Committee on Slavic Studies, x 

Kamenev, L., 68, 170 

Kara, Maniben, 283 

Kerby, William J., 147 

Kirov, S. M., 170 

Knox, Rev. Ronald A., 114 

Koestler, Arthur, 99, 250 

Komsomols, 35 

Korea, 162, 180, 196, 256-257, 261 

Kremlin, 260, 263; and deception, 183 
ff.; and thought control, 84 ff.; in- 
fallibility of, 261; political party of, 
243-244; strategy of penetration of, 

Ku Klux Klan, 202, 296 

Kun, Bela, 247 

Labor unions: Catholic, in France, 20; 
in Soviet union, 36, 137; Commu- 
nist technique in, 258-259; under 
Communist control, 254-255; Vati- 
can penetration into, 280 

La Piana, George, ix, 214 

Laski, Harold, 69 

Latin America, 145, 234, 236 

Lea, H. C, 108 

Legion of Decency, 125 

Lenin, Nikolai, 7-9, 12, 23, 25, 32, 
38, 44, 66, 70, 72, 160, 184, 244 

Leo III, Pope, 46 



Leo XIII, Pope, 76, 148, 213, 269, 

276, 280-281 
Lichtenstein, 270 
Lodge, Nucia, 94, 137 
Loisy, Alfred, 121 
Lombardi, Rev. Riccardo, 276 
London, 283 
London Times, 115 
Lovestone, Jay, 39 
Loyola, Ignatius, 160, 164 
Lublin, Poland, 235 
Lukacs, George, 191 
Lysenko, Trofim D., 91 ff., 147 

MacArthur, Douglas, General, 186 

McAvoy, Rev. T. T., 121 

McCarthy, Joseph, 200, 298 

Macaulay, Thomas B., 109 

Madison, James, 227 

Malenkov, G. M., 74 

Malik, Jacob, 260-261 

Maniu, luliu, 254 

Mao Tse-lung, 100 

Maritain, Jacques, 124 

Marriage: in Catholic law, 61-62, 214; 
in Soviet Union, 206 ff.; intercourse 
in, 285; mixed, 175, 285; monopoly 
control of, 240; of Young Commu- 
nists, 182; to Protestants, 175 

Marshall, Charles C, 219, 224 

Marshall Plan, 293 

Marx, Karl, 7, 25, 33, 66, 68-69, 84, 
206, 276 

Masaryk, Jan, 254 

Matthew, Gospel of, 44-45, 52 

Matthews, Francis P., 299 

Medina, Judge Harold, 198 

Mein Karnpf, 23S 

Morton, Thomas, 167 

Mexico, 143, 145, 236, 267 

Michurin, I. V., 91-92, 94, 147 

Middle Ages, 47-48 

Mikolajc/.yk, Stanislaw, 246, 254 

Mill John Stuart, 118 

Milton, John* 107,237 

Mindszcnty, Joseph Cardinal, 14, 18, 
143, 148 

Modernism, 121 

MoJolov, V., 195,260,300 

Monaco, 270 

Monusticfcm, 163, 165 ff, 

Montini, Monsignor Giovanni, 265 

Moore, Barrington, Jr., 30 
Morgan-Mendel theories, 95 
Morrison, Charles Clayton, 226 
Moseley, Philip, 91 
Moscow, 260 

Motherhood, in Soviet Union, 208 
Muller, H. J., 94, 96 
Munich, 247 

Murray, Rev. John C., 112-113, 322 
Murray, Philip, 180 
Murray, Raymond P., 149 
Music, in Soviet Union, 96 
Mussolini, Benito, 55, 221, 268, 273, 

Naples, 236 

Nation, The, x, 99, 253 

National Catholic Welfare Confer- 
ence, 176, 215 

National Education Association, 150 

Negroes, 201 

Nenni, Pietro, 245 

Netherlands, 16, 153, 155, 213, 218, 
270, 272-273, 282 

Neufeld, Rev. Raymond J., 219 

New Statesman and Nation, 239 

New York Times, 21, 31, 72-73, 79, 
100, 126, 128, 130, 192, 199, 235, 
261, 273 

Nicholas, Saint, 236 

Nicholas 11, Tsar, 23-25 

Nobility, in Russia, 24 

Nouvelles Equipes Internationales, 
274, 291 

Nuncios, papal, 264, 267 

Nuns, 63, 160 

O'Brien, Rev. John A., 217 

Octobrists, 35 

O'Neill, Eugene, 99 

O'Neill, James M. 226, 329 

Ontario, 213 

"Operation Mental Hygiene," 5-6 

Opium, 7 

Origcn, 52 

Orwell, George, 65 

Osservatore Romano, 19, 79, 89, 264 

Our Sunday Visitor, 150 

Pacclli, Eugenic. Sec Pius XII 

Paine, Tom, 117 

Papacy, 44 ff ., 48, 75, 268-270 



Papal States of Italy, 48, 266, 269 

Pauker, Ana, 245 

Paul IV, Pope, 116, 126 

Paul, Saint, 44 

Pavelitch, Ante, 18 

Penetration, 243; Kremlin strategy of, 

262; by Vatican, 263 
Petain, Henri, 154 
Peter ? Saint, 44, 51-52, 206, 239; bones 

of, 240; claims about, 318 
Petkov, Nikola, 250, 254 
Philology, in Soviet Union, 102-103 
Pioli, Giovanni, x 
Pius VII, Pope, 46 
Pius IX, Pope, 47, 52, 59, 85, 111, 213, 

220, 269 

Pius X, Pope, 122 
Pius XI, Pope, 12-13, 60, 142-145, 148, 

Pius XII, Pope, 53 ff., 66, 77, 81, 127- 

128, 167, 238, 265, 277 
Point Four program, 294 
Poland, 8, 13, 15, 20, 100, 169, 195, 

218, 244; Catholic Church in, 235; 

political parties in, 254 
Politburo, 36 ff. 
Popes, 224, 235, 239; and democracy, 

128; and peace, 17; in Rome, 45; 

power of, 51 ff., 77, 224, 319-320 
Portugal, 16, 328, 134, 144, 213, 215, 

270-271, 275 
Prague, 186 
Pravda, 21, 37-38, 71, 74, 79, 86, 89, 

90-91, 94, 98, 103, 185, 188, 192 
Price, Roy A., 34 
Priests, 160 ff.; and censorship, 118, 

120; in Catholic Church, 50; in 

Soviet Union, 8 
Progressive Party, 245 
Prokofiev, Sergei, 97-98 
Protestantism, 140; attitude of Catho- 
lics toward, 174 
Public schools, 13 1 ff.; in Catholic law, 

61, 142-143; in France, 153; in 

Great Britain, 156; in Hungary, IS; 

in Italy, 144; in Netherlands, 155; 

in Russian satellite countries, 100; 

in Soviet Union, 90; in Spain, 145, 


Purges; by Kremlin, 68, 168; by Vati- 
can, 17, 19, 21 

Quebec, 213 
Quotidiano, 89, 126 

Rakosi, 245 

Red Army, 170, 173, 186-187, 247 

Redden, John, 216 

Reformation, 47, 140 

Reform committees, 259 

Relics, 236-237 

Religion: and Lenin, 70; in Tsarist 
Russia, 8 

Religious fraud, 233 

Religious freedom, in Soviet Union, 
9, 10 

Resistance movements, 246, 253 

Reuther, Walter, 180 

Ribbentrop, Joachim von, 195 

Robinson, Henry Morton, 241, 329 

Roman Catholic Church. See Cath- 
olic Church 

Roman Curia, 54 

Roman Empire, 43, 45 

Roman Rota, 62 

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 227-229, 232-233, 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 204, 266 

Ross, Rev. J. Elliott, 224 

Rossi, A., 251 

Rotary Clubs, 176, 326-327 

Rumania, 13, 72, 80, J39, 190, 244; 
Orthodox Church of, 15, 168 

Russell, Bertrand, 6, 118, 148 

Russian language, 103 

Russian Orthodox Church, 8, 10-11, 

Russian Revolution, 23, 25, 84 

Ryan, Francis A., 216 

Sabotage, 257 

Saint Peter's (Rome), 44, 76-77, 240 
Saints, canonization of, 80 ff., 1 67, 234 
Salasar, Antonio, 271, 274 

San Francisco, 260 
Schlcsingcr, Arthur, Jr., 75 
School Lunch Act, 232 
Schumacher, Kurt, 180, 279 
Schuman, Robert, 271 
Schwartz, Harry, 199 
Scott, John, 171 
Secret police, 170 ff., 249 



Security Council of United Nations, 

Seipel, Monsignor Ignatz, 270 

Separation of church and state, 213 
ff.; in France, 153 

Servetus, Michael, 106 

Seward, William Henry, 266 

Sheen, Monsignor Fulton L, 209 

Shell Oil Company, 100 

Shostakovich, Dimitri, 97-98 

Shuster, George R, 218 

Silone, Ignazio, 40, 172 

Simonov, Konstantin, 99 

Sixtus V, Pope, 44 

Slovakia, 277 

Smallholders Party (Hungary), 248 

Smith, Alfred E., 212, 219, 222-224, 

Smith, Canon George D., 241 

Smith, Walter Bedell, 37, 75 

Snow, Edgar, 71 

Social democrats, 84 

Socialism: and Catholic Church, 60, 
331; and early Christianity, 75; and 
Communists, 179 ff.; and United 
States, 297 

Socialists, 247, 249, 253-254, 276, 281 

Sociology, 148 

Sokolovsky, Vasili, Marshal, 185 

Sorokin, Pitirim, 1 1 

Soviet Union: and Catholic Spain, 
292; and Jews, 190; constitutions of, 
27 ff., 86; elections in, 30, 31; ex- 
pansion of, 16; films in, 101; gov- 
ernment of, 26 ff.; law of, 88; liter- 
ature of, 89, 99; music in, 96; 
newspapers in, 87, 89-90; philology 
in, 102-103; religious freedom in, 
9-10; science in, 93 

Spain, 2, 16, 66, 109, 113, 125, 128, 
134, 144, 157, 213, 222, 224, 267, 
270, 272, 275, 279, 292 

Spellman, 1'Yawis Cardinal, 80, 212, 
227-233, 265, 306-312 

Stalin, Joseph, 2, 8, 26, 30, 39, 66, 67 
I!., 91, 94, 103, 197, 260, 300 

Starobin, Joseph, 188 

Stepinue, Archbishop, 1'4, 18 

Sterilisation, 221 

Strong, Anna Louise, 87 

Sturm Don Luigi, 273, 276 

Subasitch, 254 

Sulzberger, Cyrus L., 72, 127, 273 

Sweden, 218 

Switzerland, 213, 270 

Syllabus of Errors, 111,213, 220 

Sylvester, Harry, 123 

Szakasits, 254 

Tammany Hall, 35, 275 

Tardini, Monsignor Domenico, 265 

Tarle, Eugene, 210 

Taylor, Myron, 266, 300 

Teacher's Guild (New York), 146 

Tertullian, 52 

Theodosius the Great, 45 

Tiflis, 67 

Tildy, 254 

Tiso, Monsignor Josef, 277 

Tito, Marshal, 18, 39, 42, 180, 245- 

246, 250 

Togliatti, Palmiro, 396, 245 
Torquemada, 109 
Torre, Count Giuseppe dalla, 264 
Torture, 108-109, 169 
Towster, Julian, 29 
Toynbee, Arnold, 5 
Toynbee, Philip, 129 
Trade unions. See Labor unions 
Trilling, Lionel, 129 
Trotsky, Leon, 7, 9, 23, 68, 170, 209 
Truman, Harry $., 2, 256 
Tsaro, 9-10, 70 
Tukhachevsky, Marshal 170 
Tyrrell, George, 121 

Ukraine, 8 

Unam Sanctum, 46 

Underbill, Garrett, 173 
Union of Militant Godless, 9 

United Nations, 197, 260-261; Secur- 
ity Council of> 249, 261 

United States: and Catholic censor- 
ship, 117; and Vatican, 22; Com- 
munist penetration in, 250; Consti- 
tution of, 141, 213, 220, 225, 227; 
increasing power of, 22 

Van Roey, Cardinal, 231 
Varga, Eugene, 191 

Vatican: and thought control, 105 IF,; 
as counter-revolutionary force, 298; 



congregations of, 49 ff.; diplomatic 
representation of U. S. at, 266; 
diplomats of, 264; double talk of, 
216; imperialism of, 55, 57; pene- 
tration by, 263, 280-281; political 
party of, 269; Secretary of State of, 
265; strength of, in Europe, 16 

Vatican City State, 48 

Vatican Council of 1870, 58 

Vavilov, Nicolai, 92 

V-E Day, 185 

Virgin Mary, 164, 235; assumption of, 
119, 238-239 

Vishinsky, Andrei Y., 86, 113, 170, 
260, 299 

Waldensians, 107 
Wallace, Henry, 180 
Walsh, Warren B., ix, 34, 171 
Washington Post, 2, 18, 152 
Washington-Rome Axis, 21 

Wells, H. G., 163 

Webb, Sidney and Beatrice, 161 

Werth, Alexander, 99, 253 

Wolfe, Bertram, 24 

World Congress for Peace, 203 

World Federation of Trade Unions, 

255-256, 282, 291 
World War I, 2, 11, 22 
World War II, 2, 13, 71, 184 

Yalta conference, 197 
York, Archbishop of, 279 
Young Christian Workers, 284 
Young Communists, 35, 74, 181 
Yugoslavia, 13-14, 39, 42, 104, 180, 

Zaslavsky, David, 103 
Zhebrak, Anton, 94 
Zinoviev, G., 68, 170 
Zirkle, Conway, 94